My Exemplary Mother


Honey-tongued, she could
wow us with Shakespeare,
or make us howl at I-love-Lucy impersonations.
Sharp-tongued, she could
slice a misbehaver with a word.
Now at one hundred and one, my mother
has late learned a new language.
Bright-eyed and utterly wordless,
she responds in syllables of laughter.

She refuses the teeth, which hurt her mouth,
putting comfort and self-love before appearance;
exemplary, even to one who winced
to see her mother’s lovely face so changed.
For when my mother’s shrunken mouth
opens wide in melodious glee,
her laughter so birdlike a language,
her appetite for delight, so visibly intact—
my cringing shifts to wondrous admiration.

©Susa Silvermarie 2019

2 Responses to “My Exemplary Mother

  • Pattie Sartori
    1 year ago

    Ohh my gosh, I love this poem, from beautiful daughter of Marie, out to the world. Gracias Susa.

  • So very lovely. I understand even better now how you came to be the extraordinary woman that you are.

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