Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Mother

Maurice Skillern


MOTHER — I remember her,
I saw her yesterday,
she told me something
but I did not listen —
oh what did mother say?

YOU held me in your loving arms
every time you thought you should,
and when I tried and failed
to conquer the world
it was you who understood —

I remember how you’d comfort me
when I faltered you’d always say,
“Do not fret my son
though hard as things seem now
they’ll be easier one day.”

Mother — I remember her,
I saw her yesterday,
she told me something
but I did not listen —
oh what did mother say?

I remember you cleansed my mortal body
and when wrong you’d wash my soul,
but I thought that you would live forever
MOTHER when did you grow old?

When I saw you, your eyes they looked so tired
and your hair it looked so gray,
yet when I asked you mother
if help you needed,
“No” is all you’d say . . .

You went on to say,
“Do not fret my son
though old age weighs heavily on me,
I have much to do
many tasks to complete
before God will set me free.”

Mother — I remember her,
I saw her yesterday,
you told me something
but I did not listen —
oh what did mother say?

You would not always say to me
the things I’d want to hear,
I knew not then
you were weaning my innocence
now to me all things are clear.

When you told me “no”
sometimes I’d cry
then I’d look up at you,
and in wonder all my cries would cease
for you’d be crying too.

Oh mother though you’re here no more
I now recall your tender words,
and when I think of you
in the here and now
those words can still be heard.

You gifted me with them
more oft than not
soothing words that you showed so true,
and from my heart now mother
though I said it not then
in truth,
“I love you too.”

***

Maurice Skillern, born in Houston, Texas, enlisted in the United States Army after high school and served in three conflicts: Desert Shield/Storm, Joint Endeavor, and Iraqi Freedom. He earned his Bachelor of Science (2001) and Masters in Physician Assistant Studies (2003) from the University of Nebraska.

Maurice began writing his first book of poetic-philosophy in 1990, and a piece from it, “Second of Twins,” was published in the anthology The Space Between, 1994.

His new book of poetic-philosophy, Messages … Reflections of Being is now available at most bookstores; autographed copies are available through Baseline International. Visit Maurice's website.

© 2004 Maurice Skillern

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012