One thing done well

A little while ago, my twenty-five year old daughter, Ruby, sent me a poem. It wasn’t one that she had written but she said when she read it she thought of me. On days when I’m feeling I’ve got too many things wrong, I go back and read it and feel glad I’ve done one thing right in my life.

The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.
Strickland Gillilan.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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