From birth till the age of seven I lived with my family in rural New Hampshire near Walpole. Later we moved to Mystic, Connecticut where I had a very idyllic boyhood with very little adult supervision. It is curious to me how more often than not the thi

A Mother's Fears

My Mother
Did not fear
Bad water
Though we drank
From a well
That went dry
In the summer
So we drank water
Collected in buckets
From a road side spring
A mile further
Down the road.

My mother did not fear bad food.
We ate things my father shot.
We ate vegetables my mother grew
We ate animals my father raised.

My mother did fear scurvy,
Not an uncommon thing ,
In her childhood
Amongst poor
Vermont farmers
Snowed in for months
At a time,
And no one left
The table
Without eating
Their vegetables

My mother feared
Dry cleaning bags,
And the irresistible
Urge children have to
Put them over their heads.
No bag was ever
Thrown away
Without first being
Cut in ribbons
And tied in knots.

My mother feared trains
That her children
Would be run over by them.
We were warned
Never to play on the tracks.

My mother warned us
Against accepting
Rides from strangers
So we stayed
Off the roads
And walked the railroad tracks instead
Where we saw
No adults at all
Strange or otherwise
And no one ever got run over
By a train.

My mother feared drowning
But never gave a thought
To the fact that
The town beach was downstream
From the town sewer drain.
She became a lifeguard
Just so she
Could save her children
From the clutches
Of the cruel sea.
"Those other little bastards
Are on their own", she said.

My mother feared polio
Which you caught at the beach
On hot summer days
Even more than she feared drowning
So often as not we went
Swimming under
A garden hose
In the back yard.

Despite it all
And the fact that
My mother smoked
And drove us to school
Without anyone
Wearing a seat belt
I have survived!
Me, the sum of
My mother's fears.
I no longer dream
Of being run down by trains
But I still
Eat fresh vegetables
At every meal.
I am suspicious of strangers,
Particularly ones
Who offer me a ride.
I am afraid to swim
In the sea
Because of sharks,
In a lake
Because of leaches,
And ever on my guard
Against the urge
To use a dry cleaner bag
As a Halloween costume.

Poetry by Budart
Read 900 times
Written on 2013-08-22 at 16:04

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ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
Days when we were so much younger then simpler days
now we are so much older now, life some how became
so much more complicated

Brought back my own mother with this.

Sometimes illogical Mother`s love and humour is missed more.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
My mother had similar fears. She left me a twisted hulk. I overcame the fears, and now I find my mother to be wretched and pitiful.

I really enjoyed this, I can think of my own set of mothers fears which made me smile, thanks.