Mother’s Day Tribute

‘Why white chrysanthemums?’ the girl asks

and I remember asking my mother

the same question

as a child.


‘Because they are the symbol

of Mother’s Day’, I answer

as she answered me.


I feel her presence

as I spread them on the table,

mentally ask her advice

on length of stem

and size of vessel,

see her smile

as I arrange them ~

some for her and my grandmothers

one each for myself     my daughter

and daughter-in-law.


Together     they fill the cream jug

for we are all mothers.


One perfect flower

saved to stand alone

in the privacy of my room

in my favourite sculptured vase ~

a contrast of red glass

and blossoming white


in loving memory

of my mother.

c.  Kathryn Coughran (1993)

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