Writing 201: Elegy for Mother

Writing 201: Poetry, Day 5
Form: Elegy
Theme: Fog
I didn’t use the device of metaphor in this poem. Instead, I used repetition, and a pattern in the number of lines per stanza.

Elegy for Mother

She could no longer travel;
Now fog descended over her eyes –
Fog that didn’t allow her to read,
Thickening fog that meant no more TV.
But that fog did not prevent her
From recognizing those around her.
She knew them by the touch of those
who massaged her gnarled hands.
She knew them by their voices
Serenading her with hymns.
She knew them by their scents
Familiar since they were babies.
She knew them because they knew
Where to find her chocolate,
Or to bring it as a gift.
Now the fog has lifted from the story of her life.
Her voice no longer speaks.
Her ears no longer listen.
Her eyes – even through the fog –
No longer see.
She no longer tastes the sweet chocolate
Someone puts on her lips.
Now there is no need
To visit the stranger she had become,
Or to sing Christmas carols to her,
Or to apply lotion to her hands.
Now we celebrate her life –
Through pictures, stories, videos,
Her writing and her letters.
We see her more clearly than we have seen her
For a long time.
Our memory no longer depends on the image
Of her frail frame,
Her inability or unwillingness to speak,
Her desire to leave this world.
Now we once again see her bright brown eyes,
Hear her laughter,
Listen to her stories of long ago,
Know the love we shared
And the love of those who preceded her
In leaving this world
And entering the next.
Now the memories
Of who she was
And the grief
For whom we’ve lost


Margaret Thom Lovejoy
May 4, 1917 – December 3, 2014

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