Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Mag 175 - Mother Love

Mother Love

Tired feet cracked and worn
Brown from the dust
Hot from the road
Step aside to the matted grass

She shifts the watergrass bundle
Switching arms and shaking
Loose a tired shoulder
Before picking up her basket
Moving on toward the village
A shimmer on the horizon
Hummocks to anyone passing
Home to her and others
Eyes scan the humid skies and hope

Come evening the rains come
Grasses soak and soften
Pliant in a tub of the cool water
Along with her tired feet

Her legs swirl the long blades
Gently work flexing toes
Stretching ankles easing aches
She weaves baskets and hats
Staring out at the evening sky
Fingers and wrists move in rhythm
While she dreams of market day  
When she will sit in the sun
Waiting for traders to come

Her hat will shield her eyes
Picking the best will be hard
All are made with skill and love
Her hands will hold the coins tight –

Her daughter will go to school
Wear a clean blouse and shoes
Blue paper booklets a shiny pencil
These will do to help her on her way
When she is grown and far away
Perhaps she’ll remember
Baskets carrying more than dreams
Hats shielding a head full of wishes
A small pouch and coins of passage

Unabashedly sentimental, but I cannot help but crawl inside that woman's skin as she walks along the wayside,  loaded with the makings of ... what ? Is it fuel, or bedding, or the raw materials for a basket like the one she carries ? The photo begs a story.

This piece is being shared at Tess's weekly writing group ...  Magpie Tales -The Mag 175. Others have posted before me, go see what they've written. 


  1. Very well written! I like to crawl into these figures skins too ! I wish I hadn't been so late and tired Sunday- I might have made the effort you did! thanks.

  2. Your poem is incredibly descriptive ... I loved it!!!!

  3. What a touching and gentle story. Well done.

  4. I really enjoyed this Susan; I think it is one of your best. You seem to be developing and growing as a writer - as a poet. The last three lines - perfect.

    1. Thank you, Nell! This complement means so much, as I tend to go hot and cold with 'inspiration' and also toy with writing to strict 'forms' and then falling back to free verse for other things. I really should join a course to really learn poetic form and learn the intricacies of meter and rhyme ... for now, I search the web for tutorials, absorb the instructional posts on different blogs (yours included, and experiment as best I can.

  5. The closing lines are very evocative, that's for sure - but ALL CAPITALS (!) plus larger ones at the start of each line, I found a trifle unsettling to read... Made me feel like a kid at school not yet involved with 'joined up writing', as I've heard it called!

  6. Thank you, Jinksy! I have never really thought how 'font' can alter the reading experience other than when it is used to emphasize meaning ... I have to go and play with this poem in my word files to edit and see what I think about changes!

  7. Susan, this is a wonderfully evocative poem. You captured something of my own emotions surrounding the image. I saw her as a basket weaver, too. The cadence of your words is perfect. It reads out loud so well.

  8. Excellent...always enjoy your beautiful writes, Susan...

  9. Really enjoyed this and was especially touched by the last few lines.