A Homeschooler Remembers His Mother

A Homeschooler Remembers His Mother

The year before I finally and regrettably
Wrested control away from you,
Before I found all those reasons to skip math,
Before you tried to keep my interest
By asking me to teach a family history class,
Before I read whatever I wanted to
And at last you left me alone,

You made me memorize three poems.
"Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel", and
"Now I will show you a more excellent way", and
"The quality of mercy is not strained".
Even now, twenty years removed,
These three abide.

When at the last you left me alone
I read whatever I wanted.
But if I teach the kids a family history,
Or if they try to find reasons to skip math,
I see you through a glass darkly.
And if I speak in the tongues of the Abridged Shakespeare Company,
Or the pastor preaches a sermon on love,
Blessing both him that gives and him that receives,
I think of the year I finally
and regrettably

Even youths grow tired and weary
And young men stumble and fall.

I think sometimes about
Then we shall see face to face,
But mostly I think
If I prick you
You will not bleed.


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