An Elegy For Mom

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Write an elegy (posted by Gail)
Today I’m presenting how to write an elegy. The word is derived from the Greek word elegus which means “song of bereavement.”  An elegy is a poem written to lament the loss of someone or something special to you.  It is a poem of mourning that expresses three stages of grief:  sorrow, admiration and acceptance.  Elegies can be written for a personal loss, a public figure or a particular event.

A picture of Mom on my desk.
At first I’d wake, and a hammer
of her loss would strike me at once.
Traumatic, death of a parent,
how I wish she had remained Mom
up to end of life. Dementia
ate at her words, tore at my heart.

We stayed up late watching old films,
with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis.
Sarcastic people, Mom and I,
making each other laugh. She worked,
and cared for two daughters, leaving
Dad instructions on how to heat
our dinner. She read, cooked, baked,
and loved to knit clothes for babies.
I did not inherit knitting.

I wake up somewhat easier
these days. When I sit at my desk,
I gaze at her photo, and smile.
There are days I say a few words
to Mom, because you never know.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
This entry was posted in Purple's Home and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to An Elegy For Mom

  1. Indeed, you never know. And I too talk to people long gone, just to show them they’re remembered.


  2. Sumana Roy says:

    sweet remembrance…it’s natural that parents should leave first and not the other way round…a beautiful tribute to your mother….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lillian says:

    I love the sweet simplicity of your final sentence. Gentle smile I have here — a lighter end than most I’ve read — such a heaviness to this form for so many and you’ve expressed the missing but with a lightness to your heart. Thank you.


  4. Maybe that’s what you need to do.. You never know. The loss to dementia is so gradual… You never really know when they leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grace says:

    Indeed you never know, she might be listening, smiles ~ This part is heart breaking:

    ate at her words, tore at my heart.

    A moving write to your mother ~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bodhirose says:

    No, you never know, Sara. Dementia is such a cruel disease but I like how you shared your memories of your mother, especially the sarcasm and making each other laugh…and having to leave instructions on how to heat your dinner for your Dad. Thank you for sharing a tender elegy for your mother.
    Gayle ~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sherry Marr says:

    Grief is a journey. It is good when we reach the place where we can smile with the remembering. Loved this, Sara. And p.s. for sure, she hears you!


  8. ghostom says:

    …a lovely tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A wonderful poem, Sara. And you’re right… you never know. Mom will be gone 30 years this Christmas. I still talk to her. You never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mish says:

    I love the personal touches to this..watching movies together, the shared sarcasm. Great memories for healing which can be a journey in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. says:

    just lovely


Comments are closed.