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About this Poem 

“For My Mother” was published in Coming into Eighty (W. W. Norton & Company, 1994). 

For My Mother

Once more
I summon you
Out of the past
With poignant love,
You who nourished the poet
And the lover.
I see your gray eyes
Looking out to sea
In those Rockport summers,
Keeping a distance
Within the closeness
Which was never intrusive
Opening out
Into the world.
And what I remember
Is how we laughed
Till we cried
Swept into merriment
Especially when times were hard.
And what I remember
Is how you never stopped creating
And how people sent me
Dresses you had designed
With rich embroidery
In brilliant colors
Because they could not bear
To give them away
Or cast them aside.
I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
The creator,
The lion-hearted.

"For My Mother", from Coming Into Eighty by May Sarton. Copyright © 1994 by May Sarton. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

"For My Mother", from Coming Into Eighty by May Sarton. Copyright © 1994 by May Sarton. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

May Sarton

May Sarton

May Sarton, originally named Eleanor Marie Sarton, was born on May 3, 1912, and died on July 16, 1995.