Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Mothers

The Mothers

They are saying that he is of us all.
If this is true (and we trust that it is so)
and he truly is the son
then he also must be our son
and we, his many mothers.

What, then, must we think
when we see him ride between
the waving fronds of palms?
What, then, must we feel
when he passes by us,
almost close enough to touch?

Donkey and colt are enough
to carry him to his destiny.
But we, the mothers
who line these streets
to watch him pass
among the adoring fronds 
do not see a king, triumphant.
We see no crown, no royal robes,
no hem to kiss, no kingly sword. 
We do not see the one
whom those around us
hail as lord.

We, the mothers, only see our son,
and as mothers know these things
we see only the dear son
for whom we soon must mourn.
For the crowd, he leads,
and they will surely follow.
But he himself must follow his own road
And where that road must go
and our grief will be the grief 
only a mother’s heart can know.

detail of painting by George Frederick Watts


  1. Thank you Emma for this touching poem that expresses the deep, pure love that mothers have for their children. The poem expands this pure love from a love that may be first circumscribed by family ties to a more universal platform where every mother is the mother of Jesus, and he becomes every mother's son. In this novel way the poem expresses the deep compassion and empathy that arises of the felt oneness of all life. When we hear or read about a mother who has lost her child we are immediately touched by her intense grief, especially so by other mothers who may have also experienced the same tragedy and know the depth of such pain and sorrow. This poem I feel becomes an invitation for all, whether we are mothers, fathers, sons or daughters, to come into a deep heartfelt recognition that underlying all manifestations of life - that we are One, that we are all truly connected, and this recognition becomes the true expression of compassion.

  2. Dear friend, thank for your light, your kindness and your compassion. Your heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes.