Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Poem for Mother's Day

I remember the sleep training of my brother.
Mom was too soft-hearted to let us cry it out
and had started by sitting just beside the crib
after putting him in it. Over a few weeks' time
she'd backed (one foot at a time) up until
she could put him in the crib and go sit down
just outside our bedroom doors on the hard,
polished wood of the hallway. I imagined her
long, berry-brown legs folded like a cricket's
(or accordion style) but could see nothing
of her: just the hot, orange tip of her cigarette.
I fell asleep many a night staring out at that
bright circle, that hole she burnt in the dark.
I was only four or five, and I reckon it's been
about thirty years since Mom quit smoking,
but for some reason I've carried that memory:
maybe because to date she's never let me
cry it out, never left me alone and afraid.
Maybe because I've never once turned in
her direction that my eye hasn't caught light.
I say to you: the Lord can redeem even a
filthy habit, make beauty from every ash,
every ember, every wisp of stinking smoke.


  1. Beautiful. What a fine tribute to your wonderful mother!

    Happy Mother's Day, Brandee!

    Peace <3

  2. Thank you for the memory. So glad that you were able to find good from a bad habit. Always know that you and your brother were, are and will be forever loved unconditionally... Happy Mother's Day Brandee. Thank you for the beautiful grandchildren that you have blessed me with.

  3. gorgeous, i could never let mine cry it out either x

  4. all things work to the good you know...even smoking
    and that ever present memory of her presence...
    and his...happy moms day to you and your mom...

  5. Beautiful poem! I love how you convey both the sense of your mother's love and the sense of God's redemptive grace.

  6. girl? you can write, love this poem, it is so unique nobody could use it because it is your story. LOVE!

  7. This seriously took my breath away at the end. So beautiful.

  8. I love your poetry and cannot wait until you enter "the one" into "the contest" and win big! <3 you