Poets’ Corner: Happy Mother’s Day!

Poets’ Corner: Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day seems harmless enough. Treat mom to brunch. Buy flowers. Good times.But the story of the modern holiday – celebrated on Sunday in the United States and many other nations –is rife with controversy, conflict, and consumerism run amok. Internet research turned up the following history.

Mother’s Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) as a day dedicated to peace.

In 1907, Philadelphian Ana Jarvis began a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day. She persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, W.V. to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the second Sunday of May.

After establishing Mother’s Day in Philadelphia, Jarvis and her supporters wrote to ministers, businessman, and politicians around the U.S. promoting the idea of a national Mother’s Day. They were successful, and by 1911 Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday.

Some countries, including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Turkey, also celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. But other countries of the world celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year. In the U.K., “Mothering Sunday” is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditionally on Mothering Sunday, servants were encouraged to spend the day with their mothers, taking a special “mothering cake” as a tribute.

Mothering cakes. Flowers. Chocolate. Things in big boxes. Things in small boxes (even better). Telluride Inside… and Out offers a simple tribute in the form of two delightful poems, one by Word Woman Rosemerry Trommer and a second by David Feela both also teachers and regular contributors to Telluride Inside. and Out.

David’s is titled “Birthday Cheer” – but the familiar images apply nonetheless:


Push me out,
Push me out,
Way out.

Wipe me off,
Wipe me off,
All off.

Let me sleep,
Let me sleep,
Hush now.

All these years,
Mother dear,
Still here.

Rosemerry’s tribute to the holiday is dedicated to the daughter of a friend named Grace. The title: “Playing Family”:

I’m too grown up now to play family,
says the six-year-old girl. But I hear
in her voice that part of her
still loves the game.
I long to tell her that now,
at fifty, playing family is still
one of my favorites.
I’m less wild about the version
where I’m the mom telling the kid
no, they can’t get the toy they want.
But I like the game when I sit on the couch
and say to my son or daughter,
Hey, come snuggle in, and they do.
I like it when we stand around the kitchen counter
laughing at whatever we’re laughing at.
I like when we’re driving in the car
and I say, Hey, sweetie, how was your day?
and then my kids play along and actually tell me.
Sometimes, I play dress up in my own clothes
and wear what a mother would wear.
I even make breakfasts and lunches
and hide the M&Ms.
And I laugh to hear my own voice say
what a mother might say:
Clean up your room, please.
Time for bed now. Now.
You have got to be kidding me.
I love you. Oh my, how you’ve grown.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.