Mother’s Day Poetry

Slate has combed through its archives and collected a sheaf of heartwarming (or if not heartwarming, at least beautiful and edifying) poems about Mom, love, and all things warm and fuzzy. Here’s Lloyd Schwartz’s “He Tells His Mother What He’s Working on.” Below, you’ll also find links to other Slate poems of a similar maternal-holiday ilk.

He Tells His Mother What He’s Working on

I’m writing a poem about you.

You are? What’s it about?


It’s the story about your childhood, the horses in the river.

The ones that nearly drowned? … I saved them.

You told it to me just a few weeks ago.

I should dig up more of my memories.

I wish you would.

Like when I lived on the farm and one of the girls fell down the well?



I forget if it was Rose or Pauline—it was a deep well.

I remember that story.

Have you finished your poem?

I’m still working on it.

You mean you’re correcting it, with commas and semicolons?


When can I see it?

As soon as it’s finished.

Is it an epic?

It’s not that long.

No, I mean all my thoughts, the flashes of what’s going through my life, the whole family history … living through the woe, the river and the water.


I know.

Will it be published?

I have to finish it first.

It’s better to write about real life, that’s more important than writing something fanciful.

I try to write all my poems about real life.

You see, the apple never falls far from the tree.

I guess not.

You’re my apple.

There’s probably a worm crawling through that apple.

Then it’s got something sweet to chew on.

Well, you’re my tree.

Yes, I’m your tree–you’re an apple, I’m a tree.

Other poems:

Horizon,” by Gail Mazur

Reunion,” by Louise Glück

Love Song,” by William Carlos Williams

Letter Found Blown Against a Fence,” by Edward Weismiller

My Eyes Your Eyes,” by Daniel Halpern

The Mother Tongue,” by Eavan Boland

Daughter,” by Eavan Boland

The Open Grave,” by Louise Glück

Marriage: Six Primers,” by David Gewanter

A Tulip in Winter,” by Sherod Santos

Happily Married,” by Deborah Garrison

In Memoriam,” by Carol Muske

Things the Deaf Boy Does Next Door,” by Christine Bauch

Himalaya,” by Ellen Bryant Voigt

My Picture Left in Scotland,” by Ben Jonson

Romeo & Juliet,” by Sherod Santos

To Earthward,” by Robert Frost

Lilacs on my Birthday,” by Joyce Peseroff