Harder to be a mother than I understood

when I was just a daughter never thought much about

the Mother Side and now after all these years

I know for sure my mother, unknowable, a good dancer,

Revlon red-lipped, collector of shoes, bridge player, my mother,

wearer of orange capris, she tweezed her eyebrows,

volunteered for many years at The Griffin Hospital,

liked talking to strangers,  baking sour cream

cakes for my father, who could devour an entire cake,

liked to get dressed up and go out at night she was

farpootzed, one of my favorite Yiddish words even then,

perfumed, bejeweled, she was ready,

my mother, as imperfect  a mother as I am,

she did what most of us do.  She tried.





Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Farpootzed, a new one on me! I like this poem about your mother; yours Yiddish, mine Irish but both Revlon red-lipped , and the last two lines of this poem also apply .

  2. Beautiful. I think of my mother as superwoman. I am far from her. But I get pleasure from the fact that all my kids know “I tried”

  3. i love this poem and didnt know how i missed it until I realized
    I was being a grandmother, at my sons home for Thanksgiving week,
    a veryveryhectic week with two youngboys and lots of running: soccer, surfing, skateboarding.

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