I won’t make claim my brand of loss is any worse than others. These past few years of the world surviving a global pandemic is proof of that, and yet we each grapple with our own sense of mortality in those around us.
We draw closer to our own each time the sun sets on the horizon.
All the more reason to make each day count going forward.
Sometimes, we look back at our life… the people in it… how things were. We have the gift of seeing how our daily life rolled along, ignorant of the mortality we’ll unknowingly face in days, weeks, months, or years ahead.
We can see how we’d do things differently if given the foreknowledge, and we also see the successes and right choices made, and why those choices were so intuitive or strong at the time.
I wrote the below poem for my mom in 2008.
It’s sometimes a challenge to find a card which says what you want to say in that time of life, so I wrote a poem for her.
A few years later, I found the poem framed and hanging on the wall in my parents home.
Today, is 7-years to the day I lost my mom.
I wonder how differently that relationship may have been had I known I’d only have another 7-years with her, and some of them a struggle for her.
This time of the evening 7-years ago, my dad and I were back at the house, red-rimmed eyes, trying to make sense of what life will be like without her in it.
I wrote Wings of a Mother in 2008 based on a story I’d heard about a fire in Yellowstone National Park.
Whether the story was somehow true, or more than likely one of those heart-grabbing fictional stories, I don’t know. Regardless, it left me with an image and a thought.
The story was about a forest fire where a mother bird and her chicks were found charred among the disaster. The mother’s wings were spread over her chicks in attempts to keep them safe.
The instincts and sacrifice of a mother was summed up in that image, and the basis of this poem.
In memory of my mom, Gloria Mae (Stulo) Dunse – August 30, 1937 to June 20, 2015
Wings of a Mother
Mother Eagle makes a home of her twig tangled nest
Shelters her baby’s and denies her own rest
Protects them from danger when it lurks in their midst
Risking her own life until the threat is dismissed
When danger has past, only then she’ll uncover
Her babies’ protection from the wings of a mother
She grooms their survival with maturing of feathers
Each day she’ll loosen the length of the tether
One day they’ll perch on the nest’s narrow rim
Spread out their wings as if a cherubim
She’ll teach them to fly, they’ll flit and they’ll flutter
‘Neath the guided direction of the wings of a Mother
One day she will see they are dressed in full plume
The next day the nest sports plenty of room
Across the tall forest some distance from home
She watches as twigs twist into a throne
With pride and raised feathers, she will discover
The tireless success of the wings of a Mother
With love and respect, and pride like no other
I still find comfort under the wings of you Mother
©2008 Brad Dunse – Used With Permission