Attala County, Mississippi


A Living Mother

There are many, many songs
   Singing praise of mothers gone;
There are poems by the hundreds
   Telling of good things they’ve done.
But the song that I would sing
   And the tribute I am giving
Is a deep appreciation
   For a mother who is living.

All the nice things said of mothers,
   Of their labors and their love,
Pointing out the way to heaven,
   Telling of the God above;
All these tender, loving tributes,
   All these things so true and fine—
They are true of other mothers,
   And they’re true of mine.

But tonight this thought comes to me,
   And it stirs my very heart—
Oh, how much I love my mother’
   Have I always done my part?
Have I shown appreciation
   For her kindness through the years?
Have I helped to lift her burden?
    Have I caused her many tears?

Maybe you, too, have a mother
   Who is living yet today . . .
Have you thought how much you’d miss her
   If God beckoned her away?
Have you thought of all the hours
   She has spent in prayer for you?
Is there no way you can thank her?
   Is there nothing you can do?

Why not make her path grow brighter
   By a kind word now and then?
Why not make the burden lighter?
   Tell her how good she has been!
When she’s gone, ‘twill be too late
   To express your love sincere,
Let her know how much you love her—
   Why not thank her while she’s here?

       Dorothy (Yokum) Purtle


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