I learned from my mother how to
grow carrots as big as my little finger
and how to scrub the dirt off a carrot with my shirt
so I could eat it fresh out of the garden
any time I was hungry.
I learned it’s okay if you laugh at a funeral
because you don’t want to cry.
I learned how to type and sew and knit and crochet.
And I learned how to iron shirts and tablecloths.
I learned that you didn’t want to get
your hands near a wringer washer
or your fingers too close to a sewing machine needle.
I learned not to panic when someone or your
dog got hurt,
and that you could and should
comfort the injured.
I learned how to spell and do my homework and
go to bed when you were making too many mistakes.
I learned that you would do better
with a fresh brain,
than with a tired one.
I learned to make roads in dirt for Tonka trucks
and rivers to drain puddles and how to repair
broken porcelain horses.
I learned how to speak kindly
and share even when it wasn’t what you
wanted to do.
I learned how to pick up a hen
to get an egg from her nest.
I learned how to bake brown rim cookies and use a wet
towel and a glass to flatten them just right
I learned that I could be a teacher
if I wanted to,
and that I would be a good one if I did it.
I learned how to draw perspective.
I learned that it was possible to learn things outside of school.
I learned that I could know the names of
butterflies and moths and know any other thing I wanted
to know by reading books or observing.
I learned that reading could take me to the Alps.
I learned that I could dance.
I learned that your family name is important to keep untarnished
not only for you, but for the rest of the family.
I learned that it was expected that you would stand up
for any family member if they were
being criticized or treated unkindly
no matter how much your brother had
just been mean or unfair to you the day before.
I learned that it was okay to make mistakes and
that some of the worst mistakes can
lead to wonderful fixes.
I learned from my mom that you can do anything
for a day,
and that life is made up
of mini adventures that you
can not only handle,
I learned that no matter
what life has dealt you,
you are the one that chooses to make
I learned that you never stop missing
Sun Feb. 26, 10:19 pm
When I read this Poetry Friday entry at Dori Reads: Poetry Friday: Julia Kasdorf
I wanted to write What I Learned From My Mother. It was an enjoyable exercise and took me back to so many great childhood days with mom.