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 Celert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent 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.
While it’s highly unlikely that my grandmother (pictured above with my cousins) would have been reading any medieval or European folklore, I still love this photo and seeing my grandmother with my cousins. She died about 5 years before I was born and my sisters and I grew up without our grandparents in our lives. My mother didn’t value reading as much as she valued having a well-run household, so there were always duties we might be avoiding if she found us reading. When she became a grandmother, however, she was a lot more likely to read to her grandchildren.
I’m making a list of books to read during the holiday break that begins next week; I’ll share them here as we get to them.