Reflections of a Country Girl for her Mother

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Once, when the creek
had swelled its banks in spring,
and I had run to meet its new boundaries
to build a raft again
that could carry me down the Little Sandy
toward lands unknown,
I was sidetracked by a patch
of blue and yellow violets—
too many to let go unnoticed,
found among the wet and shady places—
and I forgot about the countries unseen.

And in fist-fulls I came running,
sharing them with you—
and you received them well,
arranging them in glass jars,
teaching me to love
the spring beauties and things:
The funny-faced Holstein calves
and the timid chickadees
who came in December
to snatch your winter’s crumbs.

© 2011 White Ermine Across Her Shoulders


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

13 responses to “Reflections of a Country Girl for her Mother

  1. Beautiful and loving tribute – wishing you a day of many happy memories. K

  2. Julie Catherine

    Absolutely lovely, Ethel. Wishing you a beautiful Mother’s Day – I know it will be filled with both joy and sorrow … but most of all, with much love. ~ Julie xoxox

  3. Beautiful,memories of a child. Learning love of nature?

  4. Quite a picture for the mind’s eyes. Thank you…

  5. Caddo Veil

    Happy Mother’s Day, Ethel!!

  6. Ina

    Hi Ethel
    This beautiful poem reminded me of picking flowers for my mother, and how she would make chains of daisies to put in my hair. Thank you for those memories! I hope you had a good day yesterday!

  7. Poet candy, Thank you, the taste is wonderful!

  8. EXACTLY the things my own mother taught me and exactly how I ran to her with wildflower blossoms so abundant on our farm in springtime! Such a joy for you to remind me like this today.

  9. Anna Mark

    This poem carries me from Spring to December, from dreaming of countries unseen to an immersion into the beauty of what is present and near. It also brings me back to your recent poem about the woman who is preoccupied and misses the wild beauty around her. That same tension is here in this poem somewhat…left on the raft.

  10. Ethel, this poem captivated me – those fistfuls of violets! I can just see them, placed in jars by a loving mother, teaching you by example to love nature….

  11. This is such a treasure, Ethel! Of course, I love these simple kinds of moments, the sight of violets more inviting than ‘countries unseen.’ And to share such with someone we love is a gift you have cherished with your poem, teaching all who come upon it how to love too.

  12. I have missed reading your poetry Ethel.

    I came away from this one feeling warm – it is a good feeling


  13. Always an aura of presence and sentience about your poetry, Ethel.

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