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.

 

Mother,

 

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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