Mother Sun


This poem is dedicated to my mother who I appreciate more and more as wisdom comes with age.


Life runs, but never tells us where it’s going.
Time swings from a rabbit’s pocket watch:
always late,
but what is that date it reaches for?
Once, we thought Mother Sun revolved around us,
but we grew out of that—
grew up—
Knowing we are just one planet chasing another around Mother Sun:
like children under-foot in the kitchen,
mice in a race for men
fearing that if we ever stop spinning
Mother Sun will not catch our fall.

Life stands in the distance, urging us on,
time cast in the shadows from Mother Sun.
Peering into those shadows we see the mysteries of history:
times before older boys had bigger toys,
when playgrounds were not made of concrete and cash
but of tree-branches walls;
butterflies held the wings with which we painted the sky,
and Jello was our favourite food group:
when Mother Sun still revolved around us.

Mother smiled at our mornings
shining food into growth on the breakfast table.
She taught us things we never wanted to learn:
“Make your bed!”
“Pick up your room!”
“Sweep the floor!”
She sparked our imagination like a match
no matter how much others rained on our parade.
She taught us how to paint the sky with ice-crystals on our breath,
but always made sure we wore a coat.
Showed that any ladder was safe to climb
if she closed her eyes, and squeezed dad’s arm
while he held the bottom.

Mother had the ability to speak softly when April showers glistened in her eyes,
but could lay on the heat when the ground needed a little scorching.
(A plant with just sun is shrivelled and will die alone.
A plant with only rain drops will drown:
too much freedom in a river, and not enough roots.)
Mother was salt and pepper, sun drops and rain kisses:
just the right amount of both.
She was the ever-present gardener,
and when we were sad—
falling apart with every Autumn leaf drop—
she reminded us of all the Summer beauty we had gone through to get here,
warned us that Winter was coming, and it would be hard,
but promised Spring:
new growth borne on the frosted wings of Winter’s butteries.

(“But when I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
Jello musings beneath my feet.)
We forget about mom as we grow strong:
An aged Oak, no longer afraid of the wind storms,
and when Winter comes, we know that Spring is coming
because someone told us that once…
and she was right.

Now, as we wake up—
life pulling us by a rope,
time ticking in shadows—
we can still see Mother Sun smiling down on us.
She is always watching as we revolve around her
keeping us in order while letting us spin free.
That rain you hear dripping through your leafs?
those are her tears shared with you.
That wind whistling through field reeds and drifting on desert streams?
those are her songs for you.
The grass beneath your limbs are her arms catching your leafs when you fall.
And the sun still smiles, just as beautiful every morning.

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