Mom and the Poor

In the previous post I published a poem about us three boys finding a violin in the trash and then sneaking it away to try to play it. Since we were young, we had no idea what the instrument might have meant to her. After writing this poem, I think that the violin probably represented something important in her life, and throwing it away must have been difficult.



Mom and the Poor

Though born in a log cabin

deep in the Missouri woods,

water pumped from a well,

no electricity, she grew up

to disdain “hillbilly music”

and hillbillies, themselves,

for that matter.

She had found enlightenment

as a child first

in the Joplin library

miles away

and later her father,

seeing her spark,

sent her to a year of college

where she discovered

science and music and art.

She hungered for

knowledge and culture,

so the hillbillies’

willful ignorance,

their preference of

Tex Ritter

over Tchaikovsky

affronted her.

In those Kansas

oil and farm towns

we lived in,

she’d take us boys

to the high school gym

to hear a pianist play Chopin

or a concert by the

French National Band

this woman who never

owned a home

who always bought

day-old bread.





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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

9 thoughts on “Mom and the Poor”

  1. Poignant and insightful. So often, we struggle to overcome our circumstance. It is the singular plight of children to, without being aware, reap the benefits and wounds of their parents’ struggles. And the children — again, so often — do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carrie, i am grateful that you read my work. “benefits and wounds” is aptly put. my mother was a bright, strong, loving, capable person but wounded as a young woman by her family and culture. and, yes, we boys were “wounded” ourselves because of her upbringing. yet i am also thankful for her caring so much for us boys that she made sacrifices to pass along to us her love of learning and the arts. what a gift for us. thanks, again, for being a wise, insightful reader.


  3. Beautiful poem and yes, so touching… Your mother was so nice, dear Michael. Life is not easy actually, we are all born in somewhere else and in different stories… Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dear nia, it’s good to read that you found the poem beautiful and touching. that is what i’d hoped, but then one never knows. your point that we all have different stories but that life is not easy for any of us is, i think very true.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for your comment. i’m glad that it feels like real life to you. i just thought back to a recent post of yours which discusses how we raise children in our society. i guess that you would probably approve of parents introducing the arts to kids at a young age. in any case, i appreciate your reading the poem.


    1. i appreciate your comments. “cultural thirst” is an apt metaphor. my mother certainly had it, and she passed it on to us, her sons. that thirst encouraged us to explore beyond what we saw and heard every day. it was a gift to us.


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