Mother’s Day Gift


Mother’s Day Gift

I never told you about
the beads I found in her dresser
after she died
how I remember opening the drawers
one by one
slowly, quietly
so no one would hear me
how I buried my hands in her things
searching for nothing
for everything
and how in the top right drawer
I found them

I never told you how
my fingers brushed
the salt-coarse sides 
those beads I vaguely remembered making
how they were square
well, square-ish really
slightly concave on each side from
the curve of my fingertips pressing
how they were strung
on a dark leather cord threaded
through their rough-punctured holes
and how I’d painted them brightly
with her favorite colors
oranges, yellows and greens

I never told you how
I stood still and
stared at them in surprise
those salt dough beads resurrected
from the mists of my past
a long ago gift
from me to her
how I wondered then
why she’d kept them
Though I understand now

I never told you that
when I finally lifted them to me
up and out of the dresser drawer
they crumbled into bits and pieces
and left me holding
an awkwardly knotted
empty black cord

©2018 M. Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the amazing Jama Rattigan at her blog, Jama’s Alphabet Soup. She always creates a sensory feast and this week she’s focusing on bluebirds with some wonderful poetry and gorgeous artwork as well. Make sure to stop by and dip into the blue and perhaps visit some other sites as well!

22 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Gift

  1. margaretsmn says:

    This poem with its repeated line “I never told you” is so powerful and sad. The symbolism of the crumbling beads at the end….
    I am reminded of Billy Collins’ poem Lanyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gift to your kids for them to continue to know their mother better and better. Happy Mother’s Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Molly! You’ve brought me to tears in the middle of Starbucks! Such a beautiful poem describing such a painful experience. It might be too difficult to capture one moment of this poem in 5 words, but if you’d care to give it a try for my Five for Friday party at TLD, I’d be glad to also include the link to this blog post. Hugs to you. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amanda Potts says:

    Oh my goodness. I am blinking back tears while my students write. The imagery, the development of the beads… burying your hands in her things, your fingerprints in the beads, “salt coarse sides”, “resurrected” and then the crumbling – oh. Thank you for this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    Memories cling, even in that sad disintegration. This is lovely, Molly, I guess true, but is filled with metaphor for all who have lost someone. Thank you for sharing the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jama says:

    Wow. Such a moving poem — I didn’t anticipate the ending, which makes quite an impact. Ditto to what Linda said about the disintegration of beads as a metaphor for loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a wow of a poem….such a universal emotion of that moment of understanding that we cannot hold onto. Really, really nice. I’m sorry that you had to go through this to write such a lovely poem, though. The repetition and the last line are spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. cvarsalona says:

    Loss is painful, Molly. You captured it so beautifully as a gift being discovered after the fact (when memories recall life).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My heart goes out to you for this heart-wrenching poem Molly, so sensitively written, and we all were makers of that “salt dough” clay–that so easily disintegrates. Thanks for this lovely-sad poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tabatha says:

    On its face you are leading us through a very tactile moment, all about the senses, but then…
    Thanks for leading us through this powerful memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I love the specificity of the beads and their touch and look and the grief and love they embody as they crumble at the end. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love how much meaning there is in that secret stash of salty beads. Such a moving poem, so rich in its word choice, pacing and movement.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. haitiruth says:

    This is lovely. Those beads capture so much. Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alice Nine says:

    Ohhh, Molly, the emotional current in this poem —the past connecting to the present, the finding only to lose— is incredible. The repetition of the first line of each stanza sets a remorseful tone that suits the sorrow woven through the powerful sequence of searching, finding, touching, caressing, and crumbling, leaving an empty black cord. What a powerful metaphor. And I think it is significant that the imagery is created primarily through the sense of touch. So well crafted.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. maryleehahn says:

    What a powerful poem. Such a memory…captured in words even though the actual beads crumbled.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Having assisted in sorting through the remnants of lives passed several times, I am always fascinated by what some choose to hang on to and why. Thank you for sharing this powerful poem with us, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

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