Mother’s Hands

By Wilda Morris

These hands washed
mud from my feet,
wiped peanut butter and jelly
from cheeks and chin.

These hands bandaged
the carbuncle which pained
my knee and stanched
blood flowing from my nose.

These hands turned one end
of the first rope I jumped,
showed me how to catch
the bouncing ball and jacks.

These hands stirred fudge,
taught me how it should feel
before we poured it
shining from the pan.

These hands held books
my Mother read me,
tucked me beneath the covers
when my prayers were said.

Thank God for these hands,
these beautiful hands.

A Mother’s Lament

By Wilda Morris

The men of my pueblo crossed the river
with only dreams in their pockets,
leaving false promises.
What do I tell my daughter
when she asks ¿Donde está mi papa?
How can I tie my son
to this place when he believes
his father left a trail of seeds
he can follow across mountains,
across the river, through deadly desert?
How can I make him understand
the seeds have been eaten by vultures
or sprouted into trees bearing bitter fruit?

Wilda Morris is the workshop chairperson for Poets & Patrons of Chicago and has served as president of the Illinois State Poetry Society. She is a former associate professor of Christian Education at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her blog at Wilda Morris’s Poetry Challenge hosts a monthly contest for other poets.

The views expressed are those of the author or authors alone, and not those of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies.