Frances S. Allen, “The difficult step” (ca. 1900)
OH that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
‘Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!’
— William Cowper, “On the Receipt of My Mother’s Picture out of Norfolk”
Everything I Own
Miroslav Sido, “Mother”
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away…
That lingers in the garden there.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, “To Any Reader” (excerpt)
F. J. Bandholtz, “Rock Island…” (detail) (ca. 1907)
Peter Ilsted, Mother and Child in an Interior (1898)
Charles O’Rear, Mom takes a picture of the kids with railroad personnel at the Wenatchee, Washington depot (1974)
Then, quite mechanically and more distinctly, the conversation began again inside him…
“What was it all for—her struggle?”
That was his despair wanting to go after her.
“She is—in you.”
Suddenly he felt tired with the burden of it.
“You’ve got to keep alive for her sake,” said his will in him. Something felt sulky, as if it would not rouse.
“You’ve got to carry forward her living, and what she had done, go on with it.”
But he did not want to. He wanted to give up.
“But you can go on with your painting,” said the will in him…
—D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that can’t let go…