Our student volunteers her
law skills in far-flung places (Boston, DC, NYC)
so comes my August birthday, or
Mother’s Day & I am not usually with
this brilliant, fun & thoughtful young woman,
an only child. But oh, something almost as fabulous.
Without fail my mailbox delivers
a unique book
that I open so slowly to read again & again,
to savor forever.
Her book cards carry words that
wet my eyes.
Now if she were seven I would show you
what she writes. Since I’ve not been Mommy
for years, but Mom, I’m not giving a peek beyond
the double wood doors opening onto garden and beyond
as it sits here in my office. But you can guess
the heart-melt inside.
Please know that this past weekend
I was together in
spirit with you, family & friends
who are children of Moms,
or are yourselves, Mothers.
And I thought this weekend so much about my
Mother, who left Earth too soon,
the woman who taught me to weave words,
which her only grandchild, as you see here from
toddle days, never one to be held back,
within these book cards.
What your mother tells you now
you will come to know.
c. Mitsuye Yamada
in A CHORUS OF CULTURES, A Poetry Anthology
edited by Alma Flor Ada, Violet J. Harris, Lee Bennett Hopkins