The Gift of Fishing

Mom and I with her big fish- a long time ago

My mother was a grateful woman who seldom asked for gifts
she loved to work in her garden sun-up to sundown
with soul roots buried deep in the big heart of Texas
as she coaxed green miracles from water soaked ground.

When she was young she shined shoes for a quarter
and with her little brother James mowed lawns
she had to quit school early for she was the oldest daughter
In spite of that, she was the wisest person I’ve ever known.

She grew up poor in the depression, told stories of pots of beans
cooking and simmering all day on an old white porcelain stove
her aunt feeding the wretched hungry who had less means
and to this day the smell of beans cooking reminds me of home.

My mother, she taught me everything that I’ll ever know
about growing beautiful plants and the joys of river fishing
understanding sometimes the pressing urge to take it slow
to watch a cork gaily bobbing, and spend the day dreaming.

©2021 Linda Lee Lyberg

Author’s note: With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I find myself missing my mom more than ever.

Poets United: Midweek Motif-Gifts

34 Comments on “The Gift of Fishing

  1. My mother lived through the depression as well and she kept meticulous accounts of her spending. She cleaned the aluminum foil and folded it to reuse. I think she may have invented recycling. I did not appreciate her ability to manage her finances so well on a very tight budget. My mom would have been 100 years old. They may have met each other in heaven. Happy Mother’s Day. Thanks for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, we miss our moms They were so strong. Our grandmothers, too. My grandma, in the Depression, had “tramps” coming to her door constantly, for they knew she wuld somehow find something for them to eat, though with five kids, it was never easy. I so admire the selflessness of mothers, who never ask for anything, and are happy with what they get. Going through the Depression will have taught both of our mothers that. I loved this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem brings gifts on so many levels that it is a joy to read. Because of the title i looked for the fish, but got a Mom who never stopped giving, and then the fish means rest after a fashion. A fine tribute to one who gave so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful tribute to your mom, Linda. Love the tenderness with you sketched the long gone past and the struggle one did at the time. The photo is exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mothers can be really marvellous can’t they? I can remember in WW2 how she took on a day job to help out but didn’t change as so many businesses were short of staff because of recruitment and we two boys were allowed to go to the shop and play in the empty yard and upstairs rooms much less goods were available then. Luckily the manager of the shop was quite happy to have us there after school so we could help out!.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A heart-warming tribute to your mother, Linda! You take after her, especially regarding your garden. I love the phrase ‘with soul roots buried deep in the big heart of Texas’ and the way you describe her life in the lines:
    ‘She grew up poor in the depression, told stories of pots of beans
    cooking and simmering all day on an old white porcelain stove’.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The best gifts are passed on from generation to generation. You received a wonderful gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Gift of Fishing — Charmed Chaos – Go Fishing Magazine

  9. Pingback: #Haibun: Fishing Charmed Chaos

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