No one but a mother knows the joy and sorrow

that comes with life: joy -- when life blooms from

a moment of darkness, filling with promise

in small brown eyes that stare wide open,

only moments old in a cold, bright world.

Sorrow births from separation, parting from

the warm breast and its sweet milk, parting

from the warm soft head snuggled on her chest,

parted from the small ear print on mother’s

arm when morning light streams in the window

No one but a mother gathers memories, collectors

holding sons, treasuring daughters, never

letting her go from her heart, never letting

him leave completely to another; miles are

shortened by the smiles, as she remembers:

tantrums on the floor, kicking with tears

for a toy – turned sour by the tantrums

of missed curfew and the harsh words of

hate that were never meant.  Sweet is the thought

of a daughter’s happiest day, tears screaming

in the heart for lost days and lost time together.

Proud is the thought of a son’s commission,

standing tall and proud in a uniform of blue,

tears screaming in the heart for that small

warm hand that clutched for safety and for you


No one but a mother sees the days go by, one day

after another, and when did she become a woman?

One day after another, and when did he become a man?

Forever, they will snooze and cuddle in her arms,

and the next day be there preventing her fall.

Never is there time, for time rolls on to time;

no one but a mother feels that sting of years

when children go away, when children find their way,

when children have their children, as the time

wends its way. But always in the heart of every mother,

there is care, and love, and bearing. Always and for

every mother, time never ends, and children’s lives

are hers. She gathers, she protects, she worries

and she prays. Always. Always. Always.


No one but a mother knows what Mary felt, one

day after another. Her tiny infant boy grew up, going on,

going on to hold the world. But her Child must

be gathered, must be protected, remembered,

suckling at her breast, cuddled in her lap, rounded

to the Way, tears when they runaway in whims,
because these children, these ones she loves – are Him!


Return to Lenten Poetic Meditations


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