Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-traditionalists December 18, 2020

Filed under: poem,Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 3:19 pm
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Someone has to care enough

to do the grunt work.

Haul up the tree

Heave. Grunt.

Whip up the shortbread.

Beat. Grunt.

Dig out the toboggans, drive to the hill.

Wheeee! Grunt.

Cook the turkey. Shop. Wrap the presents.




Some years the off-stage magicians are silent,

but this year you can hear us



poem- small talk May 13, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:40 pm
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Sunny cashier:

“Did you have a good Mother’s Day yesterday?”





Longer pause.

Sunny voice: “I left the kids with the husband and

spent a lovely time on the lake. It was just what I needed!”

“Ah. Nice.

For some of us, it’s a time of grief.”

(Honesty is the best policy).

Still cheery: “Oh. Yes!”

Oh, dear.

Some of us, once safely through a horrid day,

are tripped by reminders of our private grief

in chirpy questions at a till.

When you tear open wounds,

what did you mother teach you to do?




Haiku- Nigerian mothers May 11, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:45 am
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The wells of Nigeria

are poisoned from the salt

of mothers’ tears.




mothers September 14, 2010

Filed under: Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 7:36 pm
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Today is my mom’s birthday and I’m thinking about mothers. It seems to me that people  fit into specific camps in their relationships with their mothers.  Some have so many issues with their mothers that they have to keep a good distance between them in order to keep the peace.  Others adore their mothers and practically live in each others’ pockets.  A third group comes in between maintaining an independent distance, available for assistance and regular contact but not emeshed.  I know people who exemplify each of these.

When you’re a child, your mother tends to seem like a goddess.  Her devotion to you is the security that tethers your world.  Of course, lots of kids find no security in their mothers due to the human frailties that so commonly destroy relationships: alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, etc.  Others have mothers who are so fearful that their children are smothered in their affection.  Others find a middle ground that allows children to explore the world while having a safe home base from which to evaluate their discoveries.   Will Smith and his family were on Oprah the other day and his wife was saying that there’s a reason that in ancient cultures the boys would be removed from the village by their fathers to undergo manhood trials.  Hovering mothers are a detriment to growth and independence.  It was a hard lesson for her.  I guess that is a lesson from the mother bears.  You don’t want to get between a Mama bear and her cub, and if she has twins or triplets you know she is going to be especially grumpy!  Still, eventually the Mama bear turns on those cubs and sends them off to live their own lives snarling and snapping if she needs to.  Another good lesson.

What were your mother’s dreams?  If she didn’t fulfill them, did she pass her dreams onto you?  Did you embrace her dreams or choose dreams of your own?


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