Mother;A Cradle to Hold Me

It is true


I was created in you.


It is also true


That you were created for me.


I owned your voice.


It was shaped and tuned to soothe me.


Your arms were molded


Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.


The scent of your body was the air


Perfumed for me to breathe.




During those early, dearest days


I did not dream that you had


A large life which included me,


For I had a life


Which was only you.


Time passed steadily and drew us apart.


I was unwilling.


I feared if I let you go


You would leave me eternally.


You smiled at my fears, saying


I could not stay in your lap forever


That one day you would have to stand


And where would I be?


You smiled again.


I did not.


Without warning you left me,


But you returned immediately.


You left again and returned,


I admit, quickly,


But relief did not rest with me easily


You left again, but again returned.


You left again, but again returned.


Each time you reentered my world


You brought assurance.


Slowly I gained confidence.


You thought you knew me,


But I did know you,


You thought you were watching me,


But I did hold you securely in my sight,


Recording every moment,


Memorizing your smiles, tracing your frowns.


In your absence


I rehearsed you,


The way you had of singing


On a breeze,


While a sob lay


At the root of your song.


The way you posed your head


So that the light could caress your face


When you put your fingers on my hand


And your hand on my arm,


I was struck with a sense of health,


Of strength and very good fortune.


You were always


The heart of happiness to me,


Bringing nougats of glee,


Sweets of open laughter.


During the years when you knew nothing


And I knew everything, I loved you still.


Condescendingly of course,


From my high perch


Of teenage wisdom.


I grew older and


Was stunned to find


How much knowledge you had gleaned,


And so quickly.


Mother I have learned enough now


To know I have learned nearly nothing;.


On this day


When mothers are being honored,


Let me thank you


That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery


Did not bring you to


Discard me like a broken doll


Which had lost its favor.


I thank you that


You still find something in me


To cherish, to admire, and to love.


I thank you, Mother.


I love you.

By Maya Angelou


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