Like every mother (maybe)

When my mother bought herself
a chainsaw
for clearing up the woods
I thought that it was something every mother does;
just like keeping socket wrenches
in her handbag
(after all our car was old).

She was always overweight
kept hair together tightly
with a set of combs
wore hard hat and a coverall,
and worked her chainsaw like a pro,
while we lent a helping hand
by chopping up the wood.

Dinner afterwards was cooked in haste;
processed meat, potatoes and afterwards
something simple
sweet, to let the crave
for calories replace the taste of spice.

She was a weaver, potter, knew
to wield the ax, the scythe
to use a saw, she was strong as few,
and now is ash
inside the copper urn
we picked for her last spring.

My mother as I remember her

Today Anmol hosts at dVerse and want’s us to focus on character descriptions. As we are about to put my mother’s urn in her final resting place this weekend I spend some time remember her as she was when I grew up.

October 8, 2019

26 responses to “Like every mother (maybe)

  1. This was beautiful bjorn….
    The wrench and chainsaw and dinner in haste –
    She had her priorities straight.

    Lovely photo and condolences for your loss

  2. What a wonderful woman your mother was. I like how you describe and accept her as being like other mothers. My mother was practical too. That is why I am not into decorating the house and such things. She preferred books and her garden and of course her cats. She drove a tractor to plow the field behind our house. I love mothers like this who show their love in different, unusual ways.

  3. A wonderful job — you portray her in such an excellent manner, through physical descriptions and actions (and your place and presence in this picture to denote that familiarity). I love that beginning, which divulges the most distinctive thing about her upfront, leaving the reader anticipating to know more.

  4. This will be a significant weekend for you, Björn. I’m so glad that you are sharing it as a family. Sadly, I was only included in my mother’s funeral, not in anything else. I can’t imagine my mother with a chainsaw, she was so small and slim I don’t think she could have held one. Did your mother really keep socket wrenches in her handbag? Mine couldn’t even drive. But all mothers are different. Yours was also multi-talented. The ending of this poem is so touching.

  5. I like the twinkle in your mom’s eyes, and her face shows a love for living. Your description is of a competent person modeling competency to her children. She was an artist. What a wonderful combination for a parent. Thank you for sharing this intimate portrait of your dear mom.

  6. Incredible profile and portrait. You paint such a vivid image of her, we feel like we just met her. The second reading brought me to tears, thinking of losing my own mother when she was 39.

  7. I read this and I keep coming back to it. I love practical “do it for yourself” women. (I come from a long line of them). The best gift I ever received was my own toolbox filled with an assortment of wrenches and screwdrivers. While I’ve never owned a chainsaw I do think I would be able to wield one should the need every arise! With a grandmother that grew up during the depression and another that fought her way through WWII along with a pragmatic mother that can do just about anything she sets her mind to, I have some very sturdy footsteps to follow in. 🙂 Thank you for making me think of them.

  8. A moving memorial to your mom, Bjorn! Your description of her work skills reminds me of those “Rosie the Riveter” posters prevalent in the US during WWII. Well done!

  9. The portrait you paint of your mother is saturated with life lessons (practicality, simple pleasures, self-reliance) and love. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this poetic tribute to your mother with us.

  10. She sounds like quite a character – and her face is certainly radiant in this photo. I love her eyes!

  11. Strong woman Björn, and focused on what needed doing. Lived a practical life it sounds — honored her responsibilities… seemed she did well by you.

  12. I love her! I Reminded me of the first time used a power saw. You can’t imagine the feeling of affirmation and strength. There is something so freeing about being able to do for one’s self. It’s ennobling – that feeling shines through loud and clear for me.

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