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Six Poems Celebrating Mothers, Mothering, and Motherhood

I'm an author of a book of essays. My poems, essays, and short fiction have appeared in magazines and anthologies.

The celebration of motherhood begins while the child is still in the womb.

The celebration of motherhood begins while the child is still in the womb.

Who Are You Becoming?

The title of this poem was the prompt in a poetry workshop. I thought the poem was going to be about my young adult son and how he was growing into adulthood. But the poem came to be about a much earlier stage of life.

I think every mother and mother–in-waiting will identify with this poem. I think all mothers want to ask the life growing inside her womb, “Who are your becoming?

It is a question that continues throughout the life of your child-- the baby you hold to your breast, the toddler that you smile upon as he sleeps, even the adolescent or young adult who still needs you even though he thinks he doesn’t.

The poem doesn’t rhyme. Instead it relies on metaphor, repetition, and rhythm.

Who Are You Becoming

Who are you becoming?

My little newt, my little tadpole,

swimming in a sea of unknowns.

Who are you becoming?

My little chrysalis-encased beauty

waiting to burst free into a world of wonders.

Who are you becoming?

My own little bit of amorphous stardust

Metamorphosing into existence.

What are you thinking?

What are you dreaming?

What are you yearning to do?

I know that you will become

the becoming that most becomes you.

My little newt. My little tadpole,

My little chrysalis-encased beauty.

My little darling.

Note: This poem was included in a poetry anthology, Looking Life in the Eye: Poets of Central Florida-Volume Three

Raising roses reminded me of raising a child.

Raising roses reminded me of raising a child.

Raising Roses

This poem was written when I was given the prompt “flowers.” I thought I was writing about growing roses which was something I was doing at that time, and not doing all that well.

It began as a poem about growing roses, and then it took a turn.

In poetry, the “turn” is a poetic device. The “turn” is the point in a poem at which a change (or shift) occurs in the poem’s thought or emotion.

Raising Roses

My rose bush is blooming,

Pink tissue-paper roses,

Amidst a bushy mass of green.

Up close, I see some leaves are mottled

With brown and yellow blotches

And minute black spots, almost unseen.

I can’t see the treacherous thorns

That rebuke me with tiny cuts

When I pluck a blossom so pristine.

It is not easy to raise roses,

And I so often fail them,

But, still, they give me their innocent beauty.

I want to be perfect,

And do everything for them,

So they will grow strong and healthy.

And I fail, again and again.

Do the roses know I love them?

Do they forgive me?

My child is like these roses.

Sometimes I failed as a parent,

Because raising a child is tough.

I wasn’t a perfect parent,

But I loved him and he knew it,

And that seems to have been enough.

Motherhood brings many surprises as it changes your understand of what it means to be a mother.

Motherhood brings many surprises as it changes your understand of what it means to be a mother.


Perhaps every mother (and father too) experiences the surprises and new understanding that is part of being a parent. I’ve heard it said many times, “I never understood this until I became a mother myself."

The child loves unconditionally. And parents respond to that love (ideally) with unconditional love of their own.

In this poem, I use repetition and rhythm to create emotion.


Motherhood is a surprise.

I became a mother,

and only then did I begin

to understand my own mother.

This new understanding

was a surprise to me.

Childrearing is a surprise.

This little person, separate from me,

yet so much a part of me;

so independent, yet so dependent.

The bonds of parenting

was a surprise to me.

Awesome love is a surprise.

My child fell and scraped his knee

and I said ouch.

His pain is my pain; his joy is my joy.

The strength of this loving

Was a surprise to me.

Motherhood is a surprise.

A grand and glorious surprise.

Underneath the snow, a garden is getting ready to grow.

Underneath the snow, a garden is getting ready to grow.

Winter's Garden

I attended a workshop. It wasn’t about poetry, but about aging gracefully.The facilitator used the phrase “winter’s garden” to explain how as older people we had so many life experiences to draw upon. Our creativity lay just under the surface waiting to burst forth and bloom.

I loved the phrase “winter’s garden.” When I got home, I began this poem. Again the poem surprised me. It wasn’t going to be about me; instead it was going to be about mothering. It gives a warning about raising children, so it applies to fathers and grandparents also.

This poem uses end-line rhyme as well as internal rhyme (words rhyming with a line). It also uses a lot of alliteration and a lot of gardening imagery.

Winter’s Garden

Winter’s ground is frozen;

it seems nothing can grow.

But what cannot be seen

lies dormant just below.

Seeds carelessly scattered

by force of wind or whim;

or lovingly planted

in hope life will begin.

Childhood is the garden

where little seeds grow roots;

Where before long they can

send forth their tender shoots.

A mighty oak tree,

grown from a tiny seed,

a small fragile flower,

or a wanton wild weed..

Sunny showers of love,

or a sprinkling of shame;

The warming rays of praise,

or cold torrents of blame.

Parents, take heed and know

You will grow what you sow.

What goes around, comes around, in the circle of life.

What goes around, comes around, in the circle of life.

The Circle of Life

I don’t know where this poem came from. It seemed to just pop into my head. Mothering can be frustrating so I suppose this one was just about venting against adolescent rebellion as well as looking both backward and forward for better times.. What goes around, comes around.

I like to play around with rhyme schemes. I made an end line rhyme for each line in each three-line stanza.

I hope this poem make you smile.

The Circle of Life

When my son was a small baby

He liked to cling fiercely to me

My warm closeness made him happy

When he needed me, I was there

I’d give him big hugs, like a bear

I’d kiss away his tears with care

He wanted my help everyday

He needed my help in everyway

I could shape his young life like clay

But soon, he became his own man

Now he avoids me if he can

He wants to live by his own plan

He contradicts whatever I say

I’m not the one to cheer his day

He’s always pushing me away

But this I know with clarity

He loves me to infinity

(It’s what he used to say to me)

One day he will be fully grown

With some little ones of his own

And then I’ll reap the seeds I’ve sown

In that time, I’ll be like a friend

And all of our rifts, we will mend

Because our bond can never end

And last, one more change, you betcha

It will happen in the future

When I’m the one who needs nurture

My son said in a loving tone

He volunteered it on his own

“You’ll live with me, no nursing home”

The death of a mother is not the end of the mother-child relationship.

The death of a mother is not the end of the mother-child relationship.

All Mothers Die Too Young

As you can guess from the title, this is a sad poem, but yet cheering, because it celebrates the eternal bond between a mother and her child.

I wrote this poem in memory of my mother. My mother died too young. She was only 52 when she succumbed to ovarian cancer.

I wrote this poem because all mothers die too young—whether they are 52 or 102.

All Mothers Die Too Young

My mother died too young.

All mothers die too young.

Death always comes too soon.

Mother to child.

Child to mother.

It begins in the womb.

No connection is stronger,

than this connection,

our first connection.

A mother dies.

But while the child lives on,

the connection lives on.

A poll, just for fun.

© 2017 Catherine Giordano

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