photo computer enhanced by Graham Naylor
Written December 1989.
Published in Memories
and Other Verses, June 1991.
A MOTHER'S LAMENT
THE HALF HAS NOT BEEN TOLD
presumed a mother's life was lived
In a manner, meek and mild;
Inspired by portraits in the gallery
Of the Madonna and the Child.
And by photos in the family album
Of a mother with babe so sweet to see;
An older child, standing by,
One hand upon her knee.
I was not told about the sleepless nights,
The teething, the measles, the mumps,
Runny noses, dirty nappies,
Sudden falls, the bruises and bumps.
Or that as soon as I was fully convinced
My children were, by far, the best,
When it came to the nitty gritty,
They were no better than the rest.
I was not told about the clash of wills
The watching, the waiting, the tears;
The frustrations and the heartaches
Of the rebellious teenage years.
I did not realise that the day would come
When all these things would prove worthwhile;
What happiness it brings to see,
The love and trust in a baby's smile.
How sometimes, a small child's whisper,
Can comfort and joy arouse -
"I love you, mother, and want you to know,
That you are the heart of this house."
I would not exchange the traumas of a mother's life,
For one always meek and mild,
No experience can be so wonderful
As the return of a wayward child.
Some things in life can never be told,
Nor can human voice impart
The conflicting emotions that dwell deep down
Within a mother's heart.