Happy Mother’s Day!

From Pooh Corner to poetry
With courage and coffee
Thru Art for art’s sake
She inspirited me

From Upstart Crow to unity
With trust and tea parties
Thru Truth for my sake
She inscribed her love

From Camp Nelson to crazy
With freedom and fantasy
Thru Faith for our sake
She inspires me still


© Dorian Dorey Rhodes 11 May 2008

bird soaring through the forest
White Bird Flying by Phyllis Dorey Thiessen aka my mum

“Hold fast to your dreams for, without them,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
— Langston Hughes

I’m the happy result of an unlikely event, a planned teenage pregnancy. Unhappy with her life, my mum made a bold change; she married at 16 and had me a year later. Momma hadn’t found a better life but she had realized her dream of becoming a mother and her brave pursuit of something more gave us each other, and San Francisco. From that nontraditional beginning, through impromptu poetry readings to her own artistic endeavors, she raised me first and foremost to be creative. That gift is as important to me as her unconditional love and unwavering belief in me. Creativity as an end, not just a means, has enabled me to see possibilities beyond my limitations as a spoonie. Momma not only taught me to dream but to dream creatively.

Our mums bring us into being, guide us as we grow, support us if we’re lucky, and befriend us if we’re ridiculously lucky. I’ve been ludicrously lucky but, then again, I started life as a dream come true – what a legacy!? Momma wonderfully captures our creative journey in her response to this poem,* “We’ve both been through all kinds of crazy since Camp Nelson (playing at the creek!), & Winnie the Pooh curtains, & huggable Eeyores – not to mention coffee & books at the Upstart Crow – but what we found there has brought us through the tough times, & lit up our memories of the good times, & added the magic!!” She’s described me as her alter-ego and she’s my inner compass; my mum and I are more than compatible, we’re complementary.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
— Washington Irving

*Appropriately enough, this poem grew from seeds planted while writing a birthday poem for Momma.
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