A Poem for Mother’s Day: Trying

It's Mother's Day… time for a poem.

I've actually just come back from a trip to Ireland which has prompted a long poem about my mother and what she's facing at the moment. I'll release that one, privately for patrons, next week.

For today, here's a poem for Mother's day that I wrote in 2022, during my first visit home in years, after the COVID lockdowns.

I labelled it a post-pandemic poem, for that reason, and another that's evident in the poem.

Happy Mother's Day, Ida. I love you very much. And happy day to all the mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers out there… and everyone who cares for another.

Where would the world be without mothering?


We’re going to town.
I try to help
but, home after years,
I don’t know where
anything goes anymore.
And anyway, you say,
no need, no need.
Your outdoor shoes
are ready by the door.
Overcoat, hat, scarf:
tick, tick, tick.
Umbrella. Stick.

In town we shop,
then walk the quay
where the Slaney river
slides into the sea, me
trying not to feel the old guilt
for taking the life you only
partly permitted me to lead, for
not feeling your pandemic fear.
Now you are showing me
the way I will walk,

and afterwards, back
in the house, making tea,
how to reach gently, bend slowly,
meander around hurdles,
like the river, winding its way
through the south-east,
patient at last. I try
not to help. I try to let you 
allow us no need.

My gift book of poems about mothers and mothering, Circle of Life, is here.

You can also purchase an individualised, personal poem about mothering and caring from me. Send me an email and I'll explain more.

For new poems, sign up to be a patron here.

Orna Ross


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