20 Things My Mother Taught Me: A Mother’s Day Message


  1. You don’t have to be a stay-at-home mom to be a good mom.  Dads are capable of raising children, too, just as women are capable of serving in wars.
  2. Do not repeat your parents’ mistakes.  My mom didn’t believe in whipping because she was whipped as a child, and it was always a dehumanizing experience. Contrary to conservative belief, my brother and I didn’t fear our parents and turned out to be good citizens and innately kind human beings.
  3. Just because you love your children differently, doesn’t mean you don’t love them equally.
  4. The military is a worthy career choice.
  5. Tell your daughter she’s pretty.  (Her parents never did and so she grew up believing she was ugly.)
  6. Cancer schmancer.  You get it a second time, you fight it a second time.  Fighting till the end doesn’t make one’s death any less “dignified.”
  7. Perfectionism can be a hindrance to starting and finishing things.
  8. If you want your kid to be a Christian, take them to church.  My mom has often said she regretted not being stronger about this with my brother.  Church attendance doesn’t make you a Christian, but it can help solidify the foundation poured at home.
  9. Kelly is not a girl’s name.  American girls stole it.  (My brother’s name is Kelly Morgan.)
  10. Even if your parents weren’t perfect, it is your duty to take care of them for raising you to maturity.
  11. It’s okay to get really pissed off and throw things.  Just don’t throw them at people.
  12. Let your child pursue that which moves them.  For my brother, it’s music; for me, it’s writing.  Encourage them.
  13. Empathy is one of the greatest of all virtues.
  14. If you have one good friend in a lifetime, you’re lucky.
  15. Marry who you want, regardless of what your parents think.
  16. Eat your meat well-done.  Her dad grew up on a farm and knew the deal.  If you look like a hick for ordering it that way, so be it.
  17. Don’t be afraid to accept help, even if that help is from the government (as long as you are trying to better yourself in the process, in which you will be paying it all back via taxes).
  18. Dad’s food might give you ringworm.
  19. I was a baby before I was born.
  20. Let your children know they can always come home if they need to.  Love really is an open door.

And this Sunday’s Instagram post, which seemed befitting the holiday:

Revive the art of conversation peg

She had them put down their devices
to get a CLUE over some CHESS pie.
Mom had the MONOPOLY on sociability
that night she took a RISK by shaking things up.
When they all made plans for another night,
she saw it hadn’t been a TRIVIAL PURSUIT.

#Micropoetry Monday: Modern Proverbs


To wish away her developmental delays,
would be to wish away what made her,
the sweetness that was no burden
to those who loved her.

I was a million little pieces of the product
of my existence,
welded together
to create something

Shyness maturing into introvertedness,
her ability to listen rather than speak became more appreciated
by those who loved to hear themselves & be heard.

He captured everything through a lens;
she captured nothing but memories,
so she could relive things as she imagined them,
& he, as they had been.

Marriage gave her security,
education, possibilities,
children, stability,
for without these things,
she would be like ashes
in the wind.


Poem-a-Day 2017 Writer’s Digest Challenge #30. Theme: The (Blank)


The Remainder of the Day

The day is releasing its last breath of life,
giving up the sun-ghost of eons past,
while I sit on my patio with my stack
of medical books—
all open—
in front of me,
my husband and daughter playing blocks inside
for him to trip or step on later.

I watch them through the window—
the amber lamplight a contrast to the
moonlit, twilight-dark—
lavender and periwinkle

The window frames this little world
that I have stepped outside of
so that I can do what I must do
to hold it all together.


Poem-a-Day 2017 Writer’s Digest Challenge #29. Theme: Metric


Jackson Trune, First Class

By him,
she measured all men,
so that not one could measure up,
for they continued to change,
even as the one she believed to be The One
remained more beautiful in death,
than all the others had in life.


Poem-a-Day 2017 Writer’s Digest Challenge #28. Theme: Smell


Her Sense, His Scent

Tony was Nautica,
Gino was speed stick
with a hint of spice,
and Trace was a Stetson man.
Ryan was Eternity,
and he was hers
for just that.

She loved them all,
save the first,
who had led her
to the rest,
for it was after the first,
that she no longer knew
what she wanted,
but what she didn’t want.


Poem-a-Day 2017 Writer’s Digest Challenge #19. Theme: Memory


The Last Time They Met

The last memory she had of him
was of her getting the last word.
The last memory he had of her
was of not waiting to listen before responding.
Their shared memory was that it had
All ended because she’d said too little,
and he’d said too much.


Poem-a-Day 2017 Writer’s Digest Challenge #17. Theme: Dance


LoraBeth’s Dances of Death

She danced to “The Price is Right”
as a little girl–
to shut out her white trash world.
She danced out of all her own weddings,
leaving her live-in fiances
to eat hummingbird cake.
She drunkenly danced at her daughter’s
third and fifth weddings,
shutting everyone else out.
When she died,
all those she had wronged
danced on her grave.