Friday, May 7, 2010

A Poem for My Mother: Hope by Janet Wong

It’s been a difficult and emotionally draining week for me. I lost track of time. I actually thought it was Thursday when I awoke this morning.

I’m dedicating this post to my dear mother–who is going through an extremely difficult period in her life. She has been the best of mothers. I learned from her what being a mother is all about. She is the most selfless person I have ever known.
My Mother with One of Her Great Grandsons

When I realized what day it was, I began to wonder what I could post for this Poetry Friday. I didn’t have to think long. I went to the shelf where I keep my friend Janet Wong’s book The Rainbow Hand: Poems About Mothers and Children. Following is the final poem in Janet’s award-winning poetry collection.

by Janet Wong

In my own mother
I can see

I will need the strength of a bear,
strength to threaten those who would hurt my child—

Give me this strength.

I will need the softness of a deer,
to nudge my child down the right path—

Give me this softness.

I will need the courage of a fox
to leave my child behind, drawing harm my way—

Give me this courage.

I will need the calm of a tree,
knowing fires will happen,

and I will need to keep the hope I hold inside myself,
knowing that after the fires,

things grow again.

The Rainbow Hand received a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Honor Award in 2000.
You can find out more about the book here:
My Daughter Sara and Me

Diane has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Random Noodling.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!


jama said...

What a lovely poem. SO sorry to hear about your difficult week. Love and prayers to you, your mom, and your daughter -- three generations of strong, beautiful women!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Jama. I am fortunate to have a wonderful daughter and family and supportive friends. I'm glad my mother is so close by so I can visit her more than once a day.

Julie said...

Elaine - I am going through something similar with my own mother now, and I have a poem pinned to the wall - it's by Laurie Lee (who is most famous for his autobiographical look at British village life, titled Cider with Rosie.) I won't paste the poem in here, but you can see it at this web site:

I find it comforting to "welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,/ the hollow and the whole."

Amy L V said...

What a beautiful way to honor your mother during this hard time. Best wishes and strong thoughts to you all.

Grace Lin said...

this is such a lovely poem and moving poem. I hope things get easier with your mother--sending you good wishes.

Anonymous said...

Nice poem always pick great ones. I love you very much, so sorry you have to go through this. Grammy is a wonderful person and I have been so lucky to have her around this long. Like everything, we will get through the difficult times. Hugs and kisses!

Laura said...


I'm sorry to hear of your Mom's troubles. It sounds like you have a wonderful family. What a blessing it is to be so close, physically and emotionally.

Hope things go smoother this week. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful poem.

Laura Evans
all things poetry

Mary Lee said...

Cyber hugs for you and your mom and your daughter.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Happy Mother's Day, Elaine! I'm sorry you had a difficult week. What a gorgeous poem and gorgeous mother and daughter you have.

Radu Prisacaru said...

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laurasalas said...

Elaine, what a heartfelt tribute to your mom. Sending wishes of peace and strength your way!