Change of Heart

Thank you Michelle H Barnes and Kenn Nesbitt for the October prompt of writing a poem to and for your mother.  I have written other poems that have my mother in them, but never this one.  I guess I feel like she's been gone long enough to write it, but now I wish she'd known that I realized all she'd done for us.  So, though belated, and I can't see her face as she reads this in Heaven, here it is, for You, Mom:

Change of Heart

I cannot imagine
A stronger woman, wife, mother.
I was, and still am,
Determined to be like you.

You were not
Brought up the way most
Kids were.
In a tough life
You grew all
The more determined
To survive and thrive;
A different person
Than those around you.

I would never be abandoned;
I would get no coal at Christmas -
Jokes would be funny not hurtful;
My questions would have answers.

As a child,
I could not comprehend
The enormity of the difference
In my life
Made possible
By your young heart’s decisions;
But now I know.
Thank you for
Not just surviving,
But loving life,
Changing lives,
Loving me more
Than you should have been able.

Determined to be like you,
I was, and still am
A stronger woman, wife, mother -
I cannot imagine.

by Donna JT Smith

On Irene Latham's post today, she mentioned titles and how we come by them.  I realized this poem had undergone a few title changes on paper and in brain before I settled on its "meant to be" title.
I went through something like this:
"Change"... "Never Too Young to Change Lives"... "Changing Lives"... "Changing Hearts"...  and finally - "Change of Heart" - which felt right and to the point of what I wanted to say.

Go visit more poets and poems at Irene's place "Live Your Poem" today to celebrate Poetry Friday!


  1. Lovely tribute to your mother, Donna. I sense she knew your gratitude and certainly your love for her while she was alive.

  2. Your mother sounds like a triumphantly, boldly loving person. Thank goodness her young heart made those decisions.

  3. What a beautiful celebration of a mother's love.

  4. There are often things we'd love to tel our mothers when they live. I hope that others read your words and do it now, Donna. It's a sweet tribute to your mom. I imagine she will love it!

  5. So beautiful, Donna! I would say many of the same things about my mom.

  6. Lovely, Donna. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Lovely, Donna. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Dear Donna, when I was feeling sad recently, missing my father who died in June and whom I talked to every day, a friend said, "you can still talk to him every day." And that has brought me such comfort! Of course I can talk to him! We still have a relationship, even with the dead. This poem is proof of how it can grow and change... your mom is with you, Donna. Your bold, poetic life is a tribute to her each day. Thank you for the poem with the perfect title! xo

  9. Thank you for sharing this lovely and loving poem, Donna. I'm realizing now that this is a far more difficult challenge than I expected it would be. For some, the memories and/or emotions are too difficult to harness. Your mother sounds like she was an amazing person... and, through you, your heart and your poetry, she still is. xo

  10. I haven't written a poem for a mom yet, Donna, because like you, I have to reach into the past, bleed into my keyboard and hope for the scent of roses to buoy me. Or I could write of my stepmother. Your bravery is a lesson for me. Like you put your arm around my shoulder and reminded me of the love that is still there, ready to be embraced. So thanks!

  11. Donna, you brought your mother to life in this lovely remembrance. She must be in full smile for what you wrote. It is amazing how emotions spill out on the page. Loving life, changing lives: mothers do that so well.


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