Poem: Ode to Mother
Mother was discovered laughing yesterday in the cafeteria.
In her new home, she looked like a 16-year-old schoolgirl
She seems to have forgotten this is a senior's residence: not a high school.
Laughing, smiling, interacting, you could feel love flow from her face.
I quietly watched her for a while, interacting with her new friends
Friends so new that even though they had bonded through the senses
She had not yet learned their names, to introduce them.
It seems she is already a celebrity. No surprise.
Why are you, at eighty, so full of joy?
Just because you had to I.D. recently in a restaurant for a senior's discount?
Or is it because your youthful face lights the whole room?
Could it be that you give thanks for outliving your own mother by 26 years
When you almost died too at that age?
There is a book called "The Secret." Though I have not read it,
I expect it explains what mother has known all her life
When you give sincerely, willingly, generously, forgivingly, with great joy,
You end up with much more than you donate.
Yes, and we all saw you dancing too, mother.
Not a slow or modest dance, but one full of life
The radiance from your expressions
Your nine children, twenty some grandchildren, and great grandchild present
We saw you living your life, setting an example
A standard of fully expressing your passion
For all things good and important and enduring.
We will never forget you.
John Stone is a retiree living in Rochester who, with his wife Dawn, enjoys multiple activities at the 125Live Community Center. His mother will be age 94 on June 1. The Post Bulletin publishes poetry by local and area writers every Tuesday. Send poems to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Poetry submission."