She gave me life and in her arms
she pressed me to her breast;
she nourished me with motherís milk
so I would have the best.
She soothed me with sweet lullabies
and rocked me off to sleep,
then tucked me snugly in my crib
with prayers that God would keep.

She coaxed me on to my first step,
applauding my success;
then when I fell she eased my hurt
with care and tenderness.
First day of school she walked with me
and softly calmed my fears;
she guided me throughout my teens
and often dried my tears.

With words so wise she taught me well,
correcting me when wrong;
with love she molded me to be
responsible and strong.
Through all of this she cleaned and cooked,
she canned and baked and sewed;
her precious hands were never still,
she trod a busy road.

When my time came to leave the nest,
she smiled through tearful eye,
then gently nudged me to the edge,
assured me I could fly.
When my kids came I turned to her,
and her advice I heeded.
She never tried to interfere,
but she was there when needed.

One mournful day I said goodbye
amid a somber haze,
but death could not destroy her love;
it will endure always.
Of all the angels in Godís realm,
she glows above the rest.
Someday I know that she once more
will fold me to her breast.

Copyright © 1999 Ruth Gillis

"Mother" was awarded a Second Place Award in the
May 1999 issue of Poetís Review.

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