Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mother's Beauty

        My mother, Hilda M. Swindle, in 1964

My mother's beauty wasn't gold and paint
Nor sexy moves and winks.
Her beauty was a simpler, cleaner, rural sort
From clean living
   and clean thinking
      and self-control
         and duty done by day, by night.

She loved the Lord's creation--
   The beauty of a robin or an oriole,
   But also of a chicken or a toad.

She didn't need much luxury.
The place she loved, where she grew up,
Was plain indeed--
A wood-fired cookstove.
An outdoor toilet.
No telephone.
But it meant home for her
And for her children,
Though we didn't know it at the time.

She raised her boys to read and think.
She fed our hunger, nursed our sickness,
And cleaned us up and brought us all to church.

My mother died in May
Now fourteen years ago.
No big foundation bears her name.
No streets, no schools, no obelisks.
Those she wouldn't need.
Her monument is duty done
And children loved
And just one man
And half a gravestone.

I miss her this May day.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12 ESV)

For a related post about family, click here.