May 14, 2006

Mother's day

I found this poem in the small weekly newspaper during our seven-month stay in the West Indies three years ago. It made me smile because usually after dropping off Laura and the gardener's son at school -- a small private one where Laura was in Kindergarten -- the boys and I, one on my hip and the other holding my hand, would wander through the island's one big town, perhaps over to the market on the day when the "market ladies" arrived with their fruits and vegetables from neighboring Dominica or to the library or the merry-go-round that is the supermarkets, where you may find ketchup one week, but good luck the next...

Her Little Shadows
by Barbara Burrow

I saw a young mother
With eyes full of laughter
And two little shadows
Came following after.

Wherever she moved,
They were always right there
Holding on to her skirts,
Hanging on to her chair.
Before her, behind her --
An adhesive pair.

"Don't you ever get weary
As, day after day,
Your two little tag-alongs
Get in your way?"

She smiled as she shook
Her pretty young head,
And I'll always remember
The words that she said:

"It's good to have shadows
That run when you run,
That laugh when you're happy
And hum when you hum --
For you only have shadows
When your life's filled with sun."

A very happy Mother's Day, and all best wishes for lives filled with sun, to Grandmama and Nana, and to all of my mother friends, who love, nurture, sustain, and support*.

*Not least those who mummify chickens, build soapbox derby cars, chant Latin in the car, pursue the Holy Grail of the perfect math or grammar or science curriculum, or take the time and trouble to post links and book reviews, and share with the rest of us what works for you. You know who you are, and I'm glad I do, too.

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