The Gift of Encouragement


The Gift

When you stirred a life up with your words
Peeled the layers of your past
Pared the skin, tough and bitter
Chopped the pieces into bite-sized
And pounded poems on paper
You gave a gift to me.
While you were writing
You let us feast on parts of living
The ones that live in poetry
They sit bitter sweet on lips of telling
But the white page holds such sweet redemption
Memories, hold the healing.
You carve, with gentle fingertips, the moments of your youth.
As you use your hands, your words for tender telling,
The ones that loved us all along.

And now the gift will live forever.
Oh the power of  words,
The love of them, you passed,
That now are mine,

Know now how lovely are your words.



Dedicated to my mother on her birthday, April 22, 2013.



Joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com

11 thoughts on “The Gift of Encouragement

  1. I love how you take a basic idea, happy birthday to your mom, crack it open and spill out words that mean so much more. You have the gift of turning words into gifts. Love the blossoms spilled on the pavement – great photos of spring. We have snow predicted – again – tonight and tomorrow. Can’t wait for blossoms here, too.

    1. Poetry is a gift to me, one of seeing the world with a new lens. Often the simpler the clearer. And often there are layers of understanding. Life is a wonderful complexity. But I am walking through a season of seeking simplicity more and more. Thank you for dropping kind words of encouragement here, Maureen. You have a beautiful way of doing that.

  2. Dear Elizabeth
    Your beautiful poem today about your mother’s legacy reminds me so much of my late father who was also a lover of poetry and a writer himself. This was his legacy to me as well. It brings joy to my heart when I read those unsaid, unwritten words of admiration for your mom.
    Blessings from Laura’s.

    1. I hope I pass this love of communicating to my children. I am blessed that though my mother has been diagnosed and suffers from dementia, I wrote this poem for her to read on her birthday. Thankfully she has read it and acknowledged the gift, As always thanks for your presence here,

  3. E,

    It was a long day! Things went well at the doc and PT, but the appointment took forever. So I read mom your poem when we got back to her apartment. She loved it! And she’d love a nice printed copy. Maybe you could print it on good paper and send it to her like a card? She wouldn’t know how to find it again on the web without Dad’s help, and I don’t think he is particularly confident about how to access the WHOLE thing, even though all he has to do is click on the “Read more of this post.” Dad is slipping so much. He had absolutely zero recollection of your mentioning the poem to him, let alone of your asking him to read it to Mom. The look on his face was sad. I think he could tell I was shocked that he didn’t remember at all 😦

    I don’t know the author you mentioned, but I’m glad you’ve gotten encouragement from her. I’ll look her up on Amazon.

    I am tutoring at 6:15 and will finish at 9:30. Talk to you soon, D

  4. Oh, wow… The white word-plate, carefully, skillfully and artfully presented full of nourishing word-food… I loved this! What tradition, communion around your table! Beautiful.

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