Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(I wrote this last year, and since I have had to be away from my home and routine for some five weeks now, I haven't been able to write. So I republish this, in tribute to my mother and grandmothers and all who have rocked the cradle with love).

For Mothers Long Gone and Mothers Now

This street had seen its time of glory
I mused that night at summer's end
But left off thoughts of former history
As lightning now the sky did rend

Hastening towards my car parked yonder
The tenor of the air now changed
Came the flood as I ran weeping
Tears confounded in the rain

There were letters in the lightning
Missives racing down the street
Quickened words, electric hissing
Urging me this very night

Remember those who were, but now
Are gone, forgotten in the gloam
Who did in-dwell these ancient houses
Where love and faith once made their home.

Now on wind-swept porch lies only
Unclaimed news and broken chair
Once sat Mama singing sweetly
While she combed out sister's hair

In the yard now brambled, trampled
Once grew pretty roses fair
Hollyhocks and yellow daisies
Grown with tender loving-care

By the matron queen who nurtured
Each bud, and each rose-cheeked babe
But hands that soothed the brow of husband
Now rest, silent in the grave.

What justice or what mercy
Forbids not time to wash away
careful mending, curtains lacy
But lets her deeds all meet decay?

Why no lingering fragrance
Of soups and stews and baking bread?
No candle beckons weary family
For most of those she loved are dead

Mens' work of old still speaks of them
In mortar, bricks, and written word
No praise she sought to sew a hem
To build up lives she much preferred.

Still stand houses, pavement stays
Coarse strangers there, with strangers' ways.
Weep not her place knows her no more;
Her love's paved steps to heaven's door.

For love lives on, in heaven stays
Safe from storm, and ravaged age.
Good's not wasted, nor she who prays.
Virtue gains a golden wage.

Her work done, we take it up
of nurture,  home, and the regular folk
If her mansion above have a front-porch swing
I'll know I'm home when I hear Mama sing.

by Gail Aggen


  1. I took a deep breath and realized, this is describing every woman that has loved her family and had nurtured her home!

    Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing piece.


    Lady M

  2. Thank you, I wrote it last night.


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