Mother’s Watch

She’d never close her eyes to sleep till we were all in bed,

And on party nights till we come home she often sat and read.

We little thought about it then, for we were young they say,

Just how much mama worried when we children were away.

We only knew she never slept, and when we were out at night,

That she waited just to know we'd all come home alright.

For sometimes when we'd stay away till one or two or three

It seemed to us that mama heard the turnin' of the key.

For always when we'd step aside she'd call and we'd reply;

But we were all too young back then to understand the reason why.

Until the last one had returned she'd always keep a light,

For mama couldn't sleep until she kissed us all goodnight.

She had to know that we were safe before she went to rest,

She seemed to fear that the world might harm the ones that she loved the best;

And once she said "when you are grown to women and to men,

Perhaps I'll sleep the whole night through, I may be different then."

And so it seemed that night and day we knew a mother's care,

That always when we got back home we'd find her waitin' there.

Then came the night when we were called to gather 'round her bed

"The children are all with you now," the kindly doctor said.

And in her eyes there gleamed again that old time tender light

That told that she'd just been waiting to know we were alright.

She smiled that old familiar smile and prayed to God to keep

Her children safe from harm throughout the years, and then she went to sleep.

Let every day be mother’s Day

Let every day be Mother’s Day! Make roses grow along her way And beauty everywhere. Oh, never let her eyes be wet With tears of sorrow or regret, And never cease to care! Come, grown up children, and rejoice That you can hear your mother’s voice!

A day for her! For you she gave Long years of love and service brave; For you her youth was spent. There was no weight of hurt or care Too heavy for her strength to bear; She followed where you went; Her courage and her love sublime You could depend on all the time.

No day or night she set apart On which to open wide her heart And welcome you within; There was no hour you would not be First in her thought and memory, Though you were black as sin! Though skies were gray or skies were blue Not once has she forgotten you.

Let every day be Mother’s Day! With love and roses strew her way, And smiles of joy and pride! Come, grown up children, to the knee Where long ago you used to be And never turn aside; Oh, never let her eyes grow wet With tears, because her babes forget.

The Rough Little Rascal

A smudge on his nose and a smear on his cheek And knees that might not have been washed in a week; A bump on his forehead, a scar on his lip, A relic of many a tumble and trip: A rough little, tough little rascal, but sweet, Is he that each evening I'm eager to meet.

A brow that is beady with jewels of sweat; A face that's as black as a visage can get; A suit that at noon was a garment of white, Now one that his mother declares is a fright: A fun-loving, sun-loving rascal, and fine, Is he that comes placing his black fist in mine.

A crop of brown hair that is tousled and tossed; A waist from which two of the buttons are lost; A smile that shines out through the dirt and the grime, And eyes that are flashing delight all the time: All these are the joys that I'm eager to meet And look for the moment I get to my street.

A-E note: Agnes M. Batte of Arkport found the first Edgar A. Guest poem on a yellowed sheet of newsprint from the 1930s among her mother’s memorabilia. Mother’s Watch lead to the next two, all appropriate for Mothers’ Day. Guest was known as the “People’s Poet” who wrote thousands of similar works.