Mother Mable

Mother Mable

A year ago I was invited to submit a poem for an artist to paint her intrepretation of my work. Jenn Wilson of Lawrence chose my poem, Mother Mable. I finally got to see it last Friday night at the Painted Words Exhibit at Aimee’s Coffee House in Lawrence.

I wrote it for an elderly woman I saw every week for Bible study at a retirement home. When you greated her, she’d give you a thumbnail sketch of her life in response.

Here is the picture and the poem. It will be on exhibit through April at Aimee’s in honor of National Poetry Month.

Mother Mable

Sits, arms folded across her bony chest.
Rocks as she stares at nothingness.
Perhaps remembering her early days
picking cotton in Mississippi fields,
or maybe her long days
in the Kansas City slaughter houses,
or her three children,
now gone.

Her wavy white hair pulled back into a tiny bun
at the nape of her skinny neck,
with a few stragglers tucked over her ears.

Looks quite like Whistler’s mother,
except her skin is much darker.


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