September/October 2022

Gifts my Mother Gave me

By Jessamyn Rains

She gave me sunny sidewalks
with anthills in the cracks,
tulip beds and fields of dandelions,
the exhilaration of spring;

a John Denver song in the car,
the criss-cross of downtown streets,
the smell of the library,
an armful of books;

skates you wear over your shoes,
yard sale clothes,
a diet full of bran,
Mr. Donut on Sundays;

long drives in the flat plains
past corn and soybean fields
where my cramped-up thoughts unwound
and flew out the window.

And when the car broke down,
and the cup was chipped, then cracked,
when everything that could be shaken
toppled over and the pieces

rolled off in different directions,
she gave me
transcendence through prayer,
doors of hope in the wilderness,

praise songs like bright ribbons
running through every sorrow.

About the Author

Jessamyn Rains is a writer and editor for Kosmeo Magazine. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and four small children.