Mothers Near


Mother Near

I feel my mother near
in a garden,
leaves trembling,
like my heart,
as a butterfly lights
on a concrete goddess.
She is the light
shining through leaves,
the cooling breeze,
the serene goddess
but cold.
I light a candle
and tell her of her
grandchildren on the
curling smoke.
She hears.
So I believe.
And feel her near.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Stepmother Near

We have our ups and downs,
but when I need you,
there you are. Driving me
to think, plan and cherish.
Lending your strength. With a
strong, tight hug
and words to lighten,
soothe and brace.
My mother,
lost at four,
is forever
remembered as a
You have been
my lightning rod for
grief, anger,
sadness and confusion.
You weathered
my adolescence.
Now, I see you hug
my kids, love shining
on your gentle face.
Now, I see only
the future,
not the past.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: In her Spotlight on Kenn Nesbit, Michelle and Kenn challenged us to write poems for our mothers. Michelle wrote a dear poem. I waffled, stonewalled and finally plunged in, cold, wet and disheveled like a cat accidentally falling in a full sink. I wrote these poems for my two mothers. From my heart.

Stop by The Miss Rumpus Effect and take in the week’s Poetry Friday sharing.

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61 thoughts on “Mothers Near

    • I know it from the other end, but I imagine you’re right. I’m afraid to draw my stepmom’s attention to them. I don’t want her to be hurt. It’s hard to cobble things together, because the seams show, but the alternative is to be alone. And that’s not better.


  1. Oh, Brenda, what a gift these two poems are. You might have “plunged in, cold, wet and disheveled”, but you came out with something beautiful, healing, and poignant. Thank you for sharing your heart words. Hugs. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Brenda…how wonderful. Both beautiful and perfect in every way. It’s so nice to see something positive written about a stepmother. Your mother must be watching you and smiling at all the love you sent to her. Wonderful poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL The statues. It helped to have something to focus on as I drafted. I was already thinking over the poems when I took the photo, though. I knew if it came out well, I might use it as a touchstone. I kept flip-flopping which mother, both mothers, one poem, two poems. Having the photo with three goddesses turn out well helped me decide what to do. As if fate took a hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, Brenda. I’m so glad you wrote two. You are fortunate to have had two such lovely images of motherhood. We understand so much when we look backward and see goodness and faithfulness come from difficult loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful celebration of mothers in all their forms and with all their different titles.

    And dornahainds’s comment is absolutely perfect for this poem – my own mother has long been my editor, reading my high school essays, my college articles, my poetry submissions, always suggesting alternatives, and occasionally calling me out when I accidentally invented new words, but always championing me… 😉 Thank you both for bringing back all of these happy memories! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For having just fallen into a full sink, these poems sure purr, Brenda. I hear your heart loud and clear. I was especially touched by these lines:

    “I light a candle
    and tell her of her
    grandchildren on the
    curling smoke.”


    Where was the photo taken? It looks like such a peaceful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This IS so moving and beautiful!! The first part, I could see my mom too and I love what you wrote about your mother in law…I hope she reads it too…how blessed you are and she is to have you in each other’s lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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