Mother’s Day Poem

I grew up wearing nothing
But other peoples’ clothes
Strangers’ used clothing
Bought by my mom at local yard sales

At some point, probably around middle school
I was embarrassed about my pre-owned garb
Thinking clothes should be bought full price
at some fancy department store
I don’t know who taught me this but it sure   wasn’t    my     mama

My mom lives by her own code
She is not normal
She is weird and quirky and fun and we love it
She is the Queen of Weird
The odd thread holding our family’s diverse fabric together
And the old comforter keeping us warm

She is also the Queen of the Yard Sale
Fashioning a new life for our family
From used goods of others
Saving paper and threads
Toys and tables from their landfill fate
She was recycling before it was hip
Throwback before I could throw
Turning old to new with the smudge of her hand
And a wipe of her brush

Yard sales were an integral part of our home

For those who might not know, a yard sale is not the selling of a yard
Also commonly referred to as a garage sale, and again, no selling of the garage is involved
Rather, upon the yard or from the garage, a family will offer their used property for sale to all Who may come by to see. No business license necessary.
Almost like a flea market, which usually markets no fleas, these events can be found every Weekend throughout the U.S. and  around the world

My mom is stately
Tres Chic and powerful with her curly Jew-fro crown
The Queen of Yardsale
Makes friends with everyone
And secures unheard-of deals
From villages near and far

It’s a skill few possess
Taking the patience of a teacher
The eye of an owl
And a griot’s gift of gab

She has a flock of female friends following her lead
She is the Queen
She can go far in any direction
And early Saturday mornings her kingdom opens

Queen Yardsale has an MBA
We call it her Mom Buys Anything degree
Not haggling, hassling, or scheming, NO
These ladies are professional negotiators
With more bargaining skills than any businessman on Wall Street
Top-notch firms of female-headed households
Holding used goods up to the light

Like disobedient children
Nothing is ever thrown out
When it can be loved and valued still
With a little elbow grease and extra care

When it can be weird, eccentric AND cool
Like my mom
Taught me
That weird IS cool

So whenever I would call her weird (and yes I said it often and survived)
She would simply say “thank you,” with the most sincere pride.

It took me a long time
To understand this wisdom
This love
This extra care

For all things born
And all hands and moms prepared
To make them born again, anew

Like our relationship after a fight
And all the stranger’s clothes I’ve grown through
Like the smile on her face
When I say
Mom, I love you.


jbt n mom

One thought on “Mother’s Day Poem

  1. I hope my daughter is as cool as you when she grows up, Jonathan. 🙂 Your mama did good!

Speak about it here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.