Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Poem About Mother

 Happy Mother's Day

I'm posting a photograph of my mother at my wedding in 1964.

This was before we were enlightened about not wearing animal furs for fashion.

My poem is about Mom donning a mink stole this solitary day in her life.

Frances Longo Walsh 1915-1966



Mom had no interest in fashion—

At home, she wore a cotton housedress

with a bib-front apron over it

trimmed with a bit of rickrack or piping

Two work dresses were enough

one to wear, one to air on the clothesline

There was nothing fussy about her

She didn’t mind if her coat was a bit frayed

around the cuffs. It was warm

Didn’t care if her clothes

were up to the minute

if her hemlines were the right length

if her lipstick was a popular shade

or her hair, the latest style


Mom hardly ever got all dressed up

except on the rarest occasions

a New Year’s Eve, perhaps

when she would put on

her black dress and pumps

a rhinestone necklace and earrings

from the back of her bureau drawer

and to us, she looked like a queen


That’s when she and dad would go

with our neighbors, the Komorowskis

to Tammany Hall Bar in Secaucus

It was owned by Henry B. Krajewski

the pig farmer who repeatedly ran

for president, then governor, then senator

although he never won an election

They would have a rollicking

good time drinking Polish beer

and eating pierogis and kielbasy

and come home in the wee hours

with noisemakers, silly hats

and Krajewski’s latest campaign buttons


When I was planning my wedding

Mom did all she could to help

She worked part-time at Quackenbush’s

and was able to order the gown

of my dreams using her 20% discount

We selected my veil, my shoes

shopped for this, bought that

She made it all about me


but I wanted it to be about her, too

so we found a lovely blue gown

its bodice embellished with sequins

(I don’t think my mother had ever

worn a gown before

or anything with sequins)

Then we shopped for accessories

and waited for the big day


My fiancé had given me

a beautiful white fox stole to wear

on our November wedding day

then I learned his mother

planned to wear her mink

(This was in the ’60s

before animal activists picketed

and protested the wearing of furs)

I wanted my mom to look just as elegant

as my mother-in-law

so I rented a stole for her to wear


Unaccustomed to such luxuriousness

I could see she felt awkward

watched her squirm and fidget

unsure about what to do

wrapped up in all that finery


but I also knew she felt cherished

deeply, deeply cherished


I still have a photograph of her—

my mom, my queen

mother-of-the-bride…in mink!


Maude Carolan Pych

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  1. Hi Maude, I left a comment, but not sure if it went through.
    Beautiful imagery and such a touching description of your lovely Mom and your relationship with her. It made me think of my own mother (my parents were Polish) and cry. 🌸
    Thank you! Look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Kathy R.

  2. Hi Kathy, thank you for commenting. I understand how the poem touched your heart. One of my newest poems is, "Sometimes My Own Words Make Me Weep." I love memorializing my mother and others in poetry. The poems keep the memories alive.
    The June meeting of NJCWG will be the final meeting of the season. I'll have to miss it. It's the day of my grandson's graduation from high school." Love, Maude