Good One, Mom!

Good One, Mom! — Haiku 


Mom and Joy (3)033

Mom wasn’t a storyteller, but she was a world-class listener.  Just by being present and observant, she usually knew exactly what was going on in our lives.  With her adult children, she was always ready to join in on whatever adventure we proposed.  She went with me to East Tennessee State U. for a storytelling workshop with Jackie Torrence, and enjoyed it as much as I did, sharing a dorm room and chatting on the long drive.  She attended most storytelling events with me throughout her life and perhaps in the after also, as the “angel” a student saw over me when I told Wide Mouth Frog for a student and teacher talent show at FHN.



As a solution for scary situations, nothing can beat my mother’s accidental creativity. As we walked to the Arch parking lot late at night, discussing

my sister’s keys and my umbrella as self-defense weapons, Mom said, “I’ll just tell them, ‘Watch out! I know Haiku!’”

I LOVED the idea of poetry self-defense.


I shared this on Storytell* and was rewarded with a friend’s haiku response:

Mother’s knowledge shines

Daughter’s safety is in words

Self-defense with poetry

— Margaret in Illinois




I wrote this poem to honor Mom and as therapy for me, missing her.


Sitting  by Mary Garrett


We spent so much time sitting,

Sitting in doctors’ offices,

Sitting in medical labs,

Sitting in hospital rooms.


During better times we sat in your kitchen, talking;

Then in the dining room at Harvester, both talking;

As you tired, me talking and knitting, you listening;

As you became too tired to even listen, just sitting.


You sat in your wheelchair to visit restaurants,

Shaw’s Garden, the art museum, the zoo,

(where I nearly lost you on a steep hill),

the Goldenrod Showboat,

(where Mr. Yamamoto taught me to back down steep hills).

Doug called you “love on wheels.”


Returning from the doctor’s one day,

We visited the mama killdeer

Who built her nest next to a parking lot.

You could sit in the car and see her through your window:

Drive-through bird watching!


At the end, we sat by your bed,

Holding your hand, smoothing your brow,

Saying I love you.

Then we were sitting by your still form,

But you?  Surely not still sitting —

Soaring, flying free

From this world to another,

Released from all bonds,

Too full of joy to sit.     Mary and Mother, Verna004


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen Tremp
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 08:11:28

    What an awesome way to honor your mother! And my mom is a great listener too. That’s on of the things moms do best.


  2. storytellermary
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 08:31:18

    Thanks so much! Have a splendid day!


  3. grannysu
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 12:59:11

    Lovely, Mary. How nice to see and hear your mother through your words.


  4. storytellermary
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 16:28:16

    Thanks, Sue. My mom would have loved you. ❤


  5. Naomi Baltuck
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 21:36:22

    OH, Mary, you have captured so much in this post! I know I would have loved your mom, a woman who knows Haiku, and isn’t afraid to use it! I cried when I read your poem–my mom’s last outing was in a wheelchair, when I took her to see the Cleopatra exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Your post recalled the waning health and mobility, but the constant courage, love and friendship between a mother and a daughter. I still miss my mother, and she died in 1989, but we still have our “angels, don’t we?”


  6. storytellermary
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 22:36:37

    Yes, Naomi, never gone as long as we love and remember them. I’ll bet our moms are having tea with Sue’s mom right now . . .


  7. Michelle
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 20:37:02

    The world needs both listeners and storytellers…I happen to be a listener, like your mom.

    Also “accidental creativity” is the most awesome concept I’ve encountered in a while. What a neat concept. I love it when my very scientific minded boyfriend says something that’s accidentally creative…it’s like, “Ha! I got you!”


  8. storytellermary
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 22:07:16

    Thanks, Michelle. So much of what’s best in the world is the result of accidental discovery. I do believe we all have gifts and deserve chances to use them.


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