A Mother’s Love

by Andrea Hamlin

Among the bluebells and buttercups
beneath the chickadee call
along the stream marked by birch
Mother and her babies wander above all

Plucking up trout
and skillfully eating berries
Mother teaches them
always keeping one eye wary

On nice days, when the weather grows warm
Mother takes babies to the big lake
where the shore they are standing on is the only one seen
and someday the water will be a distant land’s namesake

One morning is different, something has changed
Mother calls babies close and stands up to sniff
her black eyes grow fearful and reflect bits of orange
something smoking and sharp is what she whiffs

To the mighty lake
Mother and babies are bound
come my children, we must swim across
Mother prays that they will not drown

Be strong my children, though the waves are cold and harsh
I love you so, with all my heart
we must swim hard throughout the night
do you promise you will never part 

As lake and sky became one
and Mother could see no more
she pushed her weary body to continue swimming
and had to trust her babies would find the shore

When daybreak arrived
Mother could see that she was alone
after she crawled onto the sand
heartbroken, Mother emitted a piercing moan

Mother wandered the strange land
day after day
can you hear me my children, are you coming 
here is where Mother will forever stay

On the highest hill on the highest dune
Mother sits to rest
still calling her children
where she can see the water best

Mother waits while the roses bloom
while the chickadees learn to fly
she waits while the dune grass grows brittle
and colored leaves fall through the sky

Mother waits while the days grow short
while the air turns cold
her black coat turns white from snow
Mother waits, as she grows old

On her dune above the shore
Mother succumbs to sleep
the land keeps her safe and tucks her in with a blanket of sand
in Mother’s heart forever, babies keep

The land felt Mother’s sorrow
and brought the babies home
where they shall remain forever
close at reach and free to roam

Years later, Mother’s love can still be seen
on the shores of Lake Michigan across the crystal waters serene
and if you are quiet you will hear the call
of a Mother’s heartbreak with a love to heal all

 


 

Andrea Hamlin graduated from Aquinas College with a degree in nursing. In addition to having a passion for the sciences, she also puts high value in the arts and plays violin in the school’s chamber strings group. She writes poetry to give literary life to the beauty she sees and experiences each day. This poem is very special to her because she gets to retell an important legend in Michigan’s history and she loves looking out over the Great Lake at the Manitou Islands and imagining the story.

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