Mother

M
In Sum by Rüştü Onur
Rüştü Onur
To Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı If  I were to die my dear mother
I would have nothing to leave you.
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The Runaway by Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Once when the snow of the year was beginning to fall,
We stopped by a mountain pasture to say, ‘Whose colt?’
A little Morgan had one forefoot on the wall,
The other curled at his breast. He dipped his head
And snorted at us. And then he had to bolt.
We heard the miniature thunder where he fled,
And we saw him, or thought we saw him, dim and grey,
Like a shadow against the curtain of falling flakes.
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To the Rain by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
Mother rain, manifold, measureless,
falling on fallow, on field and forest,
on house-roof, low hovel, high tower,
downwelling waters all-washing, wider
than cities, softer than sisterhood, vaster
than countrysides, calming, recalling:
return to us, teaching our troubled
souls in your ceaseless descent
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Wild Life by Grace Cavalieri
Grace Cavalieri
Behind the silo, the Mother Rabbit
hunches like a giant spider with strange calm:
six tiny babies beneath, each
clamoring for a sweet syringe of milk.
This may sound cute to you, reading
from your pulpit of plenty,
but one small one was left out of reach,
a knife of fur
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A Variation on Machado by Jim Harrison
Jim Harrison
I worry much about the suffering
of Machado. I was only one when he carried
his mother across the border from Spain to France
in a rainstorm. She died and so did he
a few days later in a rooming house along a dry canal.
To carry Mother he abandoned a satchel
holding his last few years of poetry.
I've traveled to Collioure several times
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The helicopter, by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
The helicopter,
a sort of controlled silver leaf
dropped lightly into the clearing.
The searchlights swung, the little girl,
the little girl was crying, her mother, a girl herself,
was giving birth, the forest dropped birdseeds of milk.
Then the helicopter lifted away,
the mother rested.
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And Now She Has Disappeared in Water by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
For Marilyn who died in January april 1
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The Other Language by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Three days after I was born, as I lay in my silken cradle, gazing
with astonished dismay on the new world round about me, my mother
spoke to the wet-nurse, saying, “How does my child?”

And the wet-nurse answered, “He does well, Madame, I have fed him
three times; and never before have I seen a babe so young yet so
gay.”

And I was indignant; and I cried, “It is not true, mother; for
my bed is hard, and the milk I have sucked is bitter to my mouth,
and the odour of the breast is foul in my nostrils, and I am most
miserable.”

But my mother did not understand, nor did the nurse; for the language
I spoke was that of the world from which I came.

And on the twenty-first day of my life, as I was being christened,
the priest said to my mother, “You should indeed by happy, Madame,
that your son was born a Christian.”

And I was surprised,—and I said to the priest, “Then your mother
in Heaven should be unhappy, for you were not born a Christian.”

But the priest too did not understand my language.

And after seven moons, one day a soothsayer looked at me, and he
said to my mother, “Your son will be a statesman and a great leader
of men.”

But I cried out,—”That is a false prophet; for I shall be a
musician, and naught but a musician shall I be.”

But even at that age my language was not understood—and great was
my astonishment.

And after three and thirty years, during which my mother, and the
nurse, and the priest have all died, (the shadow of God be upon
their spirits) the soothsayer still lives. And yesterday I met him
near the gates of the temple; and while we were talking together
he said, “I have always known you would become a great musician.
Even in your infancy I prophesied and foretold your future.”

And I believed him—for now I too have forgotten the language of
that other world.
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The Sleep-Walkers by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In the town where I was born lived a woman and her daughter, who
walked in their sleep.

One night, while silence enfolded the world, the woman and her
daughter, walking, yet asleep, met in their mist-veiled garden.

And the mother spoke, and she said: “At last, at last, my enemy!
You by whom my youth was destroyed—who have built up your life
upon the ruins of mine! Would I could kill you!”

And the daughter spoke, and she said: “O hateful woman, selfish
and old! Who stand between my freer self and me! Who would have
my life an echo of your own faded life! Would you were dead!”

At that moment a cock crew, and both women awoke. The mother said
gently, “Is that you, darling?” And the daughter answered gently,
“Yes, dear.”
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Nellie Clark by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
I was only eight years old;
And before I grew up and knew what it meant
I had no words for it, except
That I was frightened and told my
Mother; And that my Father got a pistol
And would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy,
Fifteen years old, except for his Mother.
Nevertheless the story clung to me.
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Had Death Not Had Me in Tears by Kofi Awoonor
Kofi Awoonor
Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
on life's stream sail.
I would have heard sorrow songs
in groves where the road was lost
long
where men foot prints mix with other men foot prints
By the road I wait
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It’s no use / Mother dear... by Sappho
Sappho
It’s no use

Mother dear, I
can’t finish my
weaving
You may
blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost
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To My Mother by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
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Chewing slowly by Kabir
Kabir
god my darling
do me a favour and kill my mother-in-law
—Janabai, tr. Arun Kolatkar Chewing slowly,
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As the Dead Prey Upon Us by Charles Olson
Charles Olson
As the dead prey upon us,
they are the dead in ourselves,
awake, my sleeping ones, I cry out to you,
disentangle the nets of being!

I pushed my car, it had been sitting so long unused.
I thought the tires looked as though they only needed air.
But suddenly the huge underbody was above me, and the rear tires
were masses of rubber and thread variously clinging together
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The First Sam Hazo at the Last by Samuel Hazo
Samuel Hazo
A minor brush with medicine
in eighty years was all
he’d known.
But this was different.
His right arm limp and slung,
his right leg dead to feeling
and response, he let me spoon him
chicken-broth.
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The Child on the Cliffs by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Mother, the root of this little yellow flower
Among the stones has the taste of quinine.
Things are strange to-day on the cliff. The sun shines so bright,
And the grasshopper works at his sewing-machine
So hard. Here’s one on my hand, mother, look;
I lie so still. There’s one on your book.

But I have something to tell more strange. So leave
Your book to the grasshopper, mother dear,—
Like a green knight in a dazzling market-place,—
And listen now. Can you hear what I hear
Far out? Now and then the foam there curls
And stretches a white arm out like a girl’s.

Fishes and gulls ring no bells. There cannot be
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To His Mother, Whose Name Was Maria by Attilio Bertolucci
Attilio Bertolucci
Invoked every sundown, it’s you, painted on clouds
rouging our treasured plain and all who walk it,
with leaf-fresh kids and women damp from traveling,
city-bound, in the radiance of a just-stopped shower;
it’s you, mother eternally young, courtesy of death’s
plucking hand, rose at the fragrant point of unpetaling,
you who are the alpha of every neurosis, every torturing anxiety,
and for this I give you gratitude for time past, time present, time future.

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“Crying, my little one, footsore and weary” by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti
Crying, my little one, footsore and weary?
Fall asleep, pretty one, warm on my shoulder:
I must tramp on through the winter night dreary,
While the snow falls on me colder and colder.

You are my one, and I have not another;
Sleep soft, my darling, my trouble and treasure;
Sleep warm and soft in the arms of your mother,
Dreaming of pretty things, dreaming of pleasure.
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A Declaration, Not of Independence by Ralph Salisbury
Ralph Salisbury
for my mother and father Apparently I’m Mom’s immaculately-conceived
Irish-American son, because,
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The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
“Son,” said my mother,
When I was knee-high,

“You’ve need of clothes to cover you,
And not a rag have I.

“There’s nothing in the house
To make a boy breeches,
Nor shears to cut a cloth with
Nor thread to take stitches.
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enuresis by Cid Corman
Cid Corman
Terror is not – Ed –
sitting in one’s piss.
I know – I’ve sat there –

I’ve slept there and did
most of my childhood.
That was warmth – in fact –

and comfort – in spite
of the unconcealed
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The Melon by Charles Simic
Charles Simic
There was a melon fresh from the garden
So ripe the knife slurped
As it cut it into six slices.
The children were going back to school.
Their mother, passing out paper plates,
Would not live to see the leaves fall.

I remember a hornet, too, that flew in
Through the open window
Mad to taste the sweet fruit
While we ducked and screamed,
Covered our heads and faces,
And sat laughing after it was gone.

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Poverty by Jane Taylor
Jane Taylor
I saw an old cottage of clay,
And only of mud was the floor;
It was all falling into decay,
And the snow drifted in at the door.

Yet there a poor family dwelt,
In a hovel so dismal and rude;
And though gnawing hunger they felt,
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The Tummy Beast by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
One afternoon I said to mummy,
“Who is this person in my tummy?
“Who must be small and very thin
“Or how could he have gotten in?”
My mother said from where she sat,
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His father carved umbrella handles... by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
His father carved umbrella handles, but when umbrella
handles were made by machinery, there was only one
man for whom his father could work.
The pay was small, though it had once been a good trade.
They lived in the poorest part of the ghetto, near the lots
where people dump ashes.
His father was anxious that his son should stay at school and
get out of the mess he himself was in. “Learning is the
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from By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 1: “Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar” by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar
a family of three—mother, son and daughter:
the mother, well on in the thirties, blond hair, worried face;
the son, twelve years of age or so, seated opposite,
and the daughter, about eight or nine, beside her.
The boy was blond, too; a good-looking little fellow
with dreamy eyes. The little girl was quite plain;
mouth pulled down at the corners,
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The Mother’s Return by Dorothy Wordsworth
Dorothy Wordsworth
A month, sweet Little-ones, is past
Since your dear Mother went away,
And she tomorrow will return;
Tomorrow is the happy day.

O blessed tidings! thoughts of joy!
The eldest heard with steady glee;
Silent he stood; then laughed amain,
And shouted, ‘Mother, come to me!’

Louder and louder did he shout,
With witless hope to bring her near!
‘Nay, patience! patience, little boy;
Your tender mother cannot hear.’

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My mother saw the green tree toad by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one
since she was young.
We saw it breathe

and swell up round.
My youth is no sure sign
I’ll find this kind of thing
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Old Mother turns blue and from us by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
Old Mother turns blue and from us,
“Don’t let my head drop to the earth.
I’m blind and deaf.” Death from the heart,
a thimble in her purse.

“It’s a long day since last night.
Give me space. I need
floors. Wash the floors, Lorine!—
wash clothes! Weed!”
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The Slave Mother by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Heard you that shriek? It rose
So wildly on the air,
It seem’d as if a burden’d heart
Was breaking in despair.

Saw you those hands so sadly clasped—
The bowed and feeble head—
The shuddering of that fragile form—
That look of grief and dread?

Saw you the sad, imploring eye?
Its every glance was pain,
As if a storm of agony
Were sweeping through the brain.

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Taking Time to Grow by Mary Mapes Dodge
Mary Mapes Dodge
‘Mamma! mamma!’ two eaglets cried,
‘To let us fly you’ve never tried.
We want to go outside and play;
We’ll promise not to go away.’
The mother wisely shook her head:
‘No, no, my dears. Not yet,’ she said.

‘But, mother dear,’ they called again,
‘We want to see those things called men,
And all the world so grand and gay,
Papa described the other day.
And – don’t you know? – he told you then
About a little tiny wren,
That flew about so brave and bold,
When it was scarcely four weeks old?’
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The Potato Eaters by Leonard E. Nathan
Leonard E. Nathan
Sometimes, the naked taste of potato
reminds me of being poor.

The first bites are gratitude,
the rest, contented boredom.

The little kitchen still flickers
like a candle-lit room in a folktale.

Never again was my father so angry,
my mother so still as she set the table,
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Come Up from the Fields Father by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Come up from the fields father, here’s a letter from our Pete,
And come to the front door mother, here’s a letter from thy dear son.

Lo, ’tis autumn,
Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder,
Cool and sweeten Ohio’s villages with leaves fluttering in the moderate wind,
Where apples ripe in the orchards hang and grapes on the trellis’d vines,
(Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines?
Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?)

Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,
Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful, and the farm prospers well.

Down in the fields all prospers well,
But now from the fields come father, come at the daughter’s call,
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Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall
Dudley Randall
(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963) “Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
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Blasting from Heaven by Philip Levine
Philip Levine
The little girl won’t eat her sandwich;
she lifts the bun and looks in, but the grey beef
coated with relish is always there.
Her mother says, “Do it for mother.”
Milk and relish and a hard bun that comes off
like a hat—a kid’s life is a cinch.

And a mother’s life? “What can you do
with a man like that?” she asks the sleeping cook
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Child of a Day by Walter Savage Landor
Walter Savage Landor
Child of a day, thou knowest not
The tears that overflow thy urn,
The gushing eyes that read thy lot,
Nor, if thou knewest, couldst return!

And why the wish! the pure and blest
Watch like thy mother o'er thy sleep.
O peaceful night! O envied rest!
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Fifteen Epitaphs I by Louise Imogen Guiney
Louise Imogen Guiney
I laid the strewings, darling, on thine urn;
I lowered the torch, I poured the cup to Dis.
Now hushaby, my little child, and learn
Long sleep how good it is.

In vain thy mother prays, wayfaring hence,
Peace to her heart, where only heartaches dwell;
But thou more blest, O mild intelligence!
Forget her, and Farewell.
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i can't stay in the same room with that woman for five minutes by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
I went over the other day
to pick up my daughter.
her mother came out with workman’s
overalls on.
I gave her the child support money
and she laid a sheaf of poems on me by one
Manfred Anderson.
I read them.
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I Wish I Want I Need by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
The black kitten cries at her bowl
meek meek and the gray one glowers
from the windowsill. My hand on the can
to serve them. First day of spring.
Yesterday I drove my little mother for hours
through wet snow. Her eightieth birthday.
What she wanted was that ride with me—
shopping, gossiping, mulling old grievances,
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In Sparta by C. P. Cavafy
C. P. Cavafy
He didn’t know, King Kleomenis, he didn’t dare—
he just didn’t know how to tell his mother
a thing like that: Ptolemy’s demand,
to guarantee their treaty, that she too go to Egypt
and be held there as a hostage—
a very humiliating, indecorous thing.
And he would be about to speak yet always hesitate,
would start to tell her yet always stop.
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Metropolitan by John Fuller
John Fuller
In cities there are tangerine briefcases on the down-platform
and jet parkas on the up-platform; in the mother of cities
there is equal anxiety at all terminals.
West a business breast, North a morose jig, East a false
escape, South steam in milk.

The centres of cities move westwards; the centre of the
mother of cities has disappeared.
North the great cat, East the great water, South the great
fire, West the great arrow.

In cities the sons of women become fathers; in the mother of
cities the daughters of men have failed to become mothers.
East the uneager fingers, South the damp cave, West the
chained ankle, North the rehearsed cry.
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Mother, I cannot Mind my Wheel by Walter Savage Landor
Walter Savage Landor
Mother, I cannot mind my wheel;
My fingers ache, my lips are dry:
Oh! if you felt the pain I feel!
But Oh, who ever felt as I!

No longer could I doubt him true;
All other men may use deceit:
He always said my eyes were blue,
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Triptych by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
When my mother She who is not All at once
Was a young girl Who she was I could see
Before the War Waits to be My mother
Reading sad books Yet she is In eternity
By the river Already I told her
Sometimes, she Mother She always
Looked up, wisely Whose child Would be
But did not dream Though not yet The one
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X Ray by Dannie Abse
Dannie Abse
Some prowl sea-beds, some hurtle to a star
and, mother, some obsessed turn over every stone
or open graves to let that starlight in.
There are men who would open anything.

Harvey, the circulation of the blood,
and Freud, the circulation of our dreams,
pried honourably and honoured are
like all explorers. Men who’d open men.
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Snail by Ho Xuan Huong
Ho Xuan Huong
Mother and father gave birth to a snail
Night and day I crawl in smelly weeds
Dear prince, if you love me, unfasten my door
Stop, don't poke your finger up my tail!
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The Author to Her Book by Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet
Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
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The Baby's Dance by Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor

DANCE little baby, dance up high,
Never mind baby, mother is by ;
Crow and caper, caper and crow,
There little baby, there you go ;
Up to the ceiling, down to the ground,
Backwards and forwards, round and round ;
Dance little baby, and mother shall sing,
With the merry coral, ding, ding, ding.

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Belief by Josephine Miles
Josephine Miles
Mother said to call her if the H-bomb exploded
And I said I would, and it about did
When Louis my brother robbed a service station
And lay cursing on the oily cement in handcuffs.

But by that time it was too late to tell Mother,
She was too sick to worry the life out of her
Over why why. Causation is sequence
And everything is one thing after another.
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The British Church by George Herbert
George Herbert
I joy, dear mother, when I view
Thy perfect lineaments, and hue
Both sweet and bright.
Beauty in thee takes up her place,
And dates her letters from thy face,
When she doth write.

A fine aspect in fit array,
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Brother by Mary Ann Hoberman
Mary Ann Hoberman
I had a little brother
And I brought him to my mother
And I said I want another
Little brother for a change.
But she said don’t be a bother
So I took him to my father
And I said this little bother
Of a brother’s very strange.
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A Brown Girl Dead by Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
With two white roses on her breasts,
White candles at head and feet,
Dark Madonna of the grave she rests;
Lord Death has found her sweet.

Her mother pawned her wedding ring
To lay her out in white;
She’d be so proud she’d dance and sing
To see herself tonight.
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December, 1919 by Claude McKay
Claude McKay
Last night I heard your voice, mother,
The words you sang to me
When I, a little barefoot boy,
Knelt down against your knee.

And tears gushed from my heart, mother,
And passed beyond its wall,
But though the fountain reached my throat
The drops refused to fall.
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From the House of Yemanjá by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
My mother had two faces and a frying pot
where she cooked up her daughters
into girls
before she fixed our dinner.
My mother had two faces
and a broken pot
where she hid out a perfect daughter
who was not me
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The Great Blue Heron by Carolyn Kizer
Carolyn Kizer
M.A.K. September, 1880-September, 1955 As I wandered on the beach
I saw the heron standing
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Infant Sorrow by William Blake
William Blake
My mother groand! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud;
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my fathers hands:
Striving against my swaddling bands:
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mothers breast.
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Jessie Mitchell’s Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Into her mother’s bedroom to wash the ballooning body.
“My mother is jelly-hearted and she has a brain of jelly:
Sweet, quiver-soft, irrelevant. Not essential.
Only a habit would cry if she should die.
A pleasant sort of fool without the least iron. . . .
Are you better, mother, do you think it will come today?”
The stretched yellow rag that was Jessie Mitchell’s mother
Reviewed her. Young, and so thin, and so straight.
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The Little Black Boy by William Blake
William Blake
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child:
But I am black as if bereav'd of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say.
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The Little Vagabond by William Blake
William Blake
Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am use'd well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

But if at the Church they would give us some Ale.
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale;
We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day;
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray,

Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing.
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring:
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

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My Father in the Night Commanding No by Louis Simpson
Louis Simpson
My father in the night commanding No
Has work to do. Smoke issues from his lips;
He reads in silence.
The frogs are croaking and the street lamps glow.

And then my mother winds the gramophone;
The Bride of Lammermoor begins to shriek—
Or reads a story—
About a prince, a castle, and a dragon.
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My Sister's Sleep by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
She fell asleep on Christmas Eve:
At length the long-ungranted shade
Of weary eyelids overweigh'd
The pain nought else might yet relieve.

Our mother, who had lean'd all day
Over the bed from chime to chime,
Then rais'd herself for the first time,
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Native Trees by W. S. Merwin
W. S. Merwin
Neither my father nor my mother knew
the names of the trees
where I was born
what is that
I asked and my
father and mother did not
hear they did not look where I pointed
surfaces of furniture held
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Oenone by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
There lies a vale in Ida, lovelier
Than all the valleys of Ionian hills.
The swimming vapour slopes athwart the glen,
Puts forth an arm, and creeps from pine to pine,
And loiters, slowly drawn. On either hand
The lawns and meadow-ledges midway down
Hang rich in flowers, and far below them roars
The long brook falling thro' the clov'n ravine
In cataract after cataract to the sea.
Behind the valley topmost Gargarus
Stands up and takes the morning: but in front
The gorges, opening wide apart, reveal
Troas and Ilion's column'd citadel,
The crown of Troas.

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45
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The Photos by Diane Wakoski
Diane Wakoski
My sister in her well-tailored silk blouse hands me
the photo of my father
in naval uniform and white hat.
I say, “Oh, this is the one which Mama used to have on her dresser.”

My sister controls her face and furtively looks at my mother,
a sad rag bag of a woman, lumpy and sagging everywhere,
like a mattress at the Salvation Army, though with no holes or tears,
and says, “No.”
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136
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Sister Helen by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
"Why did you melt your waxen man
Sister Helen?
To-day is the third since you began."
"The time was long, yet the time ran,
Little brother."
(O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)
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39
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a song in the front yard by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.
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33
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Washington McNeely by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Rich, honored by my fellow citizens,
The father of many children, born of a noble mother,
All raised there
In the great mansion-house, at the edge of town.
Note the cedar tree on the lawn!
I sent all the boys to Ann Arbor, all the girls to Rockford,
The while my life went on, getting more riches and honors—
Resting under my cedar tree at evening.
The years went on.
I sent the girls to Europe;
I dowered them when married.
I gave the boys money to start in business.
They were strong children, promising as apples
Before the bitten places show.
But John fled the country in disgrace.
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38
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Jan Kubelik by Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg
Your bow swept over a string, and a long low note quivered to the air.
(A mother of Bohemia sobs over a new child perfect learning to suck milk.)

Your bow ran fast over all the high strings fluttering and wild.
(All the girls in Bohemia are laughing on a Sunday afternoon in the hills with their lovers.)

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41
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I Am the Woman by William Vaughn Moody
William Vaughn Moody
I am the Woman, ark of the law and its breaker,
Who chastened her steps and taught her knees to be meek,
Bridled and bitted her heart and humbled her cheek,
Parcelled her will, and cried "Take more!" to the taker,
Shunned what they told her to shun, sought what they bade her seek,
Locked up her mouth from scornful speaking: now it is open to speak.

I am she that is terribly fashioned, the creature
Wrought in God's perilous mood, in His unsafe hour.
The morning star was mute, beholding my feature,
Seeing the rapture I was, the shame, and the power,
Scared at my manifold meaning; he heard me call
"O fairest among ten thousand, acceptable brother!"
And he answered not, for doubt; till he saw me crawl
And whisper down to the secret worm, "O mother,
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Scrapbook by George Scarbrough
George Scarbrough
Green and brown current of river:
Reverberant iron bridge: crossing over,
Woman and child fixed at the center,
Holding hands and both weeping:

Because her child is weeping: because
His mother weeps: because the river, far
Underfoot, glitters through cracks
In the wooden flooring that widen
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30
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