The Gift

My shift was nearly over, I’d soon be on my way

The eastern sky would herald in, another Mother’s Day

I tuned into a talkback show, as the dawn did slowly creep

The switchboard seemed to be jam packed, with women who could not sleep


The subject seemed to focus on, strange gifts they had received

And some of these weird presents, just couldn’t be believed

Lawn mowers and spanner sets, might be the choice of some

But I find them inappropriate for that special mum


When it comes to showing gratitude, you may pay out great amounts

But when it’s all said and done, it’s the thought that really counts

For the smallest token from one’s heart, made with loving care

Is often the true reflection, of the love that you both share


Then her voice came on the airwaves, free of others gripes

With a soft and gentle accent, from the land of Stars and Stripes

I listened on intently, to the story that she weaved

As she told us of a special gift, that she had once received


A little pair of ear rings, shaped like two butterflies

The simple proof of her son’s love, brought tears to this mother’s eyes

He’d left the price tag on them and she felt a little sad

As she realised her five year old, had spent every cent he had


She wore them every Mother’s Day and you could always tell

When her son was in the limelight, she wore them then as well

She wore them when he went to war and she’d such bitter tears

When she got that dreaded call that every parent fears


Like his mates who went before him, he went with no regret

Cut down in Afghanistan, by a foe he’d never met

Though the world was at his feet, the day that he was born

When it comes to politics a soldier is just a pawn


In a flag draped casket, he came home from the fray

And she buried him at Arlington, where her nation’s heroes lay

She sat there broken hearted, feeling so bereft

Her memories and his butterflies, were all that she had left


Those tiny pair of ear rings are now worth more than gold

And this grown man was moved to tears by the story that she’d told

I drove home quietly thinking, with a heart that seemed like lead

Silently reflecting on every word she’d said


When I arrived I gazed upon the photos on the wall

Of my children in their uniforms, standing proud and tall

And I prayed to God in heaven, “Please grant me this one goal”

“That I may never have to pay this grieving mother’s toll”



By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
18 May 2012



DIGITALLY ALTERED IMAGE: Original photo: Sunrise in Section 35 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. US Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser/Arlington National Cemetery.
Grieving mother digitally inserted by CONTACT.






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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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