I wrote a poem for my mum, to post on Mother’s Day and lost it, along with a lot more files and photos, when my hard drive crashed. I was upset, until my sister, Leeta said I could post this one, instead.
A Mother’s Day Poem For Days Gone By
By Leeta Chapman
Left-hand small, dainty and feminine, slightly trembling
Thin golden band slowly placed on wedding finger
Strong masculine hand gently lifting smooth white fingers to bridegroom’s lips
There, to softly place a kiss
These hands now a little older fingers not as slender
Nails neatly cut, shaped and painted palest pink
Hands that had raised seven children plus two foster babes
Nursed cherished parents, and crumpled tear-sodden hankies at their deaths
Now deftly guiding yards of gingham through sewing machine
Four little girls aged three to eight eagerly awaiting summer dresses
Seven children experienced those cooling fingers gently stroking fevered brows
Felt the bruising pressure of damp hankie rubbing at grime on faces
Hands that scrubbed floors, lit fires, soothed chilblains and changed nappies
Produced melt-in-the-mouth pastries, birthday cakes and Sunday dinners
As well as Christmas decorations, doll’s clothes little treats and most wonderful stories
They carried, held and lifted heavy bags of shopping
They washed and scrubbed at dirty clothes
Lifted scorching flat irons popping with testing spittle
Hands that had a few more lines but still had many miles to go
The hands, now resting quietly on sheets that are tidily turned down are once again pale and slender
Fingernails now longer, shapelier, and painted coral pink.
But the years have taken their toll
Knuckles enlarged, lopsided, twisting fingers into obscene shapes
Still proudly feminine and bearing the wedding band placed there over half a century ago
Placed there by the strong, masculine, hand that still holds the aged hand of my mother.
The last time I saw those hands they were finally resting.
Arthritic fingers, nails still coral pink, gently holding a crucifix.
But no doubt, somewhere already, they were busily making, doing, or mending something.