Mum's Day

As I did last year, I've taken this opportunity to be uncompromisingly unmushy. One can recognise the devotion of one's mother and her pivotal role in one's nurture without resorting to gushing sentimentality. Instead of a Mother's Day message that canonizes any practitioner of motherhood, I've focused on the perils of the motherhood journey without reference to the presumed piety of the traveler.

Here it is. (In the printed card I attributed the poem to a fictional character -- Phyllis Steiner-Writes. Should you wish to reproduce this poem under my Attribution-NonCommercial license, it must be attributed to either Virge or Virgil Keys.)

The Trials Of Motherhood

It starts, as morning gilds the skies and springtime blooms unfurl,
With rushes to the littlest room to lift the lid and hurl.
Then after months of stretching gut, of heartburn and back strain,
You "come to term" with pure, protracted, pulsing, pelvic pain.

Just after labour's sapped your will of all its frail reserves,
Your parasitic creature's screaming shreds your sleepless nerves.
Your toddler learns to speak and finds the whining words "But why?"
Then schooling bites with books and bills to bleed your bank-book dry.

Your teen gawks down from gangling heights, regards you with disdain,
Then leaves the roost rejecting all the truth that you retain.
For all your years of sacrifice, the years your children scarred,
You might expect some sympathy--instead you get this card.

Update: I printed the text in a greeting card format on glossy photo paper using one of my flower photos (a different cropping of this one) for the front page. I gave the card and a gift to MotherOfVirge today. She chuckled at the verse, but gave no hint of having realised it was a home made card. FatherOfVirge picked up the card later, glanced at it outside and in, then put it down with a non-commital nod. He never reads the messages inside cards--and who can blame him given the usual glurge.

I suppose I should tell MotherOfVirge it was made for her, but it would feel like I was saying "Look what I did in school today!"