From Mothers, For Daughters

This is a hard one to put online, because it is very personal to my mom and to me. And yet I think it probably expresses a pretty universal feeling that a mother has when her child is seriously ill, and I suspect that some of my readers have been or are in one of those two roles now - or sadly, may be there in the future. Not everyone can express themselves as my mom does here, so this is for all mothers, everywhere, from the heart.

I love you, too, Mom.


I remember you standing in front of the ostrich cage,
Pretty in the little red and white blouse I’d embroidered for you,
Holding up your reddened finger, your eyes full of tears.
“He must have been hungry”, you said.
We hugged you and told you it would be all right
and the ostrich must have liked you.

I remember the sound of your small feet pattering up the apartment stair,
running to find me, calling down the long hall.
You came weeping and holding your poor bloodied elbow.
“I fell down Momma – it hurts!”, you said.
I patted your blond head, put a bandage on the wound and said
“There, there, it will be all right.”

Now you walk toward me, my dearest daughter, my best friend.
I see the pain in every step, the effort it costs you to move.
The terrible disease inside you is hungry. It hurts.
I want so much to use the magic cure (it’s always worked before).
Now why can’t I say “Here my love - it will be all right –
I’ll just kiss it and make it all better”?

Barbara Maloney


Delighted Hands said...

So, tearfully, true. Beautiful, poignant words to share. Thank you.

The Violet Hoarder said...

Thank you for posting this touching poem by your mom. My mom, too, has been my best friend. I'm looking out from the other end of this poem, at my 90-year-old mother in the last months of her life. I share the wish that I could magically make it better...for all of us. But how fortunate we all are for having had each other for as long as this.

Celticsprite said...

Beautifully said! Very poignant. If it were only that easy....

Nancy K. said...

And we know that she is hurting every bit as much as you. Only in a different way.

I know that I would rather that I had to go through something as awful as terminal cancer than have my daughter go through it...

timary said...


mrspao said...

That's such a beautiful poem. xxxoooxxx