The truth of the world, simple though it may be, is that life begins and ends with people. For good or ill, our lives are an accumulation of interactions with others, of building ourselves in relation to the community around us. As such, our first interactions can be some of the most important.
For my fellow Americans and I, yesterday was a Sunday spent honoring the very people that bring us into the world: mothers. Commercialized as it has been (not unusual for a holiday I reckon, no?), the core concept is a sound one, for who better to honor than those that must put up with so much from us wee folk?
And especially us poets. Emotional roller-coaster rides we are, be it through childhood or after.
That said, while the pub’s doors were closed yesterday, in lieu of the usual hubbub of the bullfights today we’re going to be having a little informal celebration of mothers through our own, poetic brand of things. No history lessons. No lamenting of lives lived and lost and poems forgotten to the waves of time. Today, the bar’s taking a breather for family.
The piece to mark the occasion? “In Memory of My Mother,” by Patrick Kavanagh.
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happilyGoing to second Mass on a summer Sunday–
You meet me and you say:
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle–’
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life–
And I see us meeting at the end of a town
On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.
O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.