When I was a young man of 28 years, my mom wrote me the loveliest letter on my birthday.
Included with that letter was the most beautiful poem written for her boy.
Today, I recalled that poem (which I still have on its original paper) and paired it with a photo that I discovered. It was taken during a much easier time in my mom’s life.
I sent this photo to start off her day, and as expected, she was moved by the photograph. Although her words were short, I believe I knew what she meant.
“The woman personifies how I feel,” she wrote.
And with that, I decided to write my mother back (as if it were a normal conversation) almost a quarter of a century later.
Here is her original verse, and then mine—on Mother’s Day:
“28 years ago today,
a baby boy stole my heart away.”
“Assuredly he did, mom, you had little choice!
And I love how we write, with a similar voice!“
“I counted his fingers and his toes.
I examined his ears, his eyes, and his nose.”
“The number’s the same, and my vision is strong.
I just took a look, mom, my ears aren’t yet long!“
“He circled my finger with his tiny hand.
And his skin was the color of warm summer sand.”
“It’s the hand of a father; I’ve got my own clan.
Here, a picture of us, you look happy and tan.“
“This boy is a man now. His hand covers mine.
He’s smart, and he’s funny. He’s turned out just fine.”
“It’s just like you said mom, a man I’ve become.
And that man is so happy that you are his mum.“
“Before I complete this, I just want to say…my heart wasn’t stolen—I gave it away!”
“Your poem’s my favorite, and it shows who you are.
My heart was your gift—
and you are my star!“
To Jeanne. My lovely mother, and my star.