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Note: This past Sunday, many people in the U.S. observed Mother’s Day. I wrote my mother an acrostic poem for the occasion. In an acrostic poem, certain letters in each line (typically the first letters) spell out a word or phrase when read a certain way. Some acrostic poems are incredibly complex, but for the sake of my poor brain, I kept this one simple. In both stanzas, the first letters in each line, read vertically, combine to spell out the title: “mother.” After reading, perhaps you’ll want to try writing your own acrostic poem.

Phyllis Cole-Dai

             an acrostic poem, Mother’s Day, 2022

Moving down the hall, the woman leans hard
on the carved cane of her years, the handle of a basket
tucked firmly in the soft, fleshy crook of
her arm. Gold light leaks like paint through the weave.
Every step she takes, even her toe-stubs and stumbles,
radiance drips on the floor. The janitor doesn’t bother

mopping up. The woman can’t see her light spilling
out, only the necessity of toting her basket. It’s still full,
though she picked it up long ago, before her babies. It isn’t
heavy. Her body might be old and broken, but light is light.
Everywhere she goes, she dribbles it on the world’s chin,
reminding us how love makes everything shine.


Photo by Majid Gheidarlou on Unsplash


Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai has authored or edited eleven books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Brookings, South Dakota, USA.

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