Where rippling waters sparkle
Wooded trees touch the shore
Little racoons dipped their paws
There Mother grew and learned
She saw the ancient ones
Strip the meat and dry it
On racks over smoking coals.
All she had of her Mother's love
Was the few material things left,
A house, royalties, land, these strings,
A pinch of this, a shred of that.
Gone were the gentle aunts,
Who spoke their truth with kindness,
In language of another era blessed.
Mother created lovely shawls
Of bright colors for their calls,
It was all of memory for her
To pass down traditions spur.
I suppose mourning loss was positive
Anyway, it was all she could give.
She bought the fabric for ten,
The fringes once again,
Stripes of ribbon work bold
Price of that untold,
In hours of work giving
For as long as she is living,
For their self-respect the charge low
Materials and work priced below,
What she paid for that herself,
Nothing left over for the shelf.