Poet’s Corner: Rosemerry for Mother’s Day!

Word Woman Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and her mom

Poet’s Corner: Rosemerry for Mother’s Day!

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. (Like mothers ever get much of that…)

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, so 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 the second Sunday of May. Other countries celebrate Mother’s Day at different times of the year. In the U.K.,  for example,“Mothering Sunday” is celebrated 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). For Mother’s Day 2024 Telluride Inside… and Out offers a simple tribute in the form of two beautiful poems by regular contributor and Word Woman extraordinaire Rosemerry Trommer: “One is for my mom and one for me…”

When My Mother Makes Me Tea

It is kindness that moves her hand
to flip the switch on the hot pot,
and somehow a movement
that’s merely a flick is transformed
into an act of great love. It is kindness
that helps her choose the mug
she thinks I’d like the most—
not too small, not too big,
not too clunky. Perhaps the one
with pansies. Perhaps the one
that was dad’s. There is kindness
in the way she unwraps the tea bag,
my favorite earl gray, the bergamot
floral and strong. Kindness in the way
she pours in the soy milk,
the kind I like best, organic,
unsweetened, something she would
never drink herself but will always
have on hand for me. And so when
I wake in her bed and she tells me,
I’ve made you a cup of tea,
I know she is also saying
you are so precious to me.
I taste it in every sip, how warm it is,
how generous, the black tea so bright,
the milk so creamy, so smooth.
even with no sugar, so sweet.

May Again

May again, and the lilac buds
are swelling and the apple leaves
are on the verge of unfurling
and it’s almost Mother’s Day.
The geese have arrived,
and the hummingbirds weave
and the grosbeaks swarm the feeder.
On the counter, the succulents
you gave me two years ago
have doubled in size.
I treasure them beyond
their thick leaves—
treasure, more, perhaps,
their roots.
I am well aware
that although you are gone
I am no less your mom.
I want to praise what is infinite,
which I am best taught
through what doesn’t last.
What doesn’t last:
the body, the bloom,
the boy, the blood.
What lasts forever:
the growing, the breaking open,
the winging toward love.

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