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Poems | Poems | The Comfort of Mothers

The Comfort of Mothers

We like them plump with white hair
tied in a bun;
or elegant and slender,
long bright fingernails
and high-heeled shoes, a fur coat;
we like them in the kitchen
cooking our supper
or on their hands and knees
scrubbing the threshold
or scented with expensive perfume
leaving for a late-night party;
we like them when they are understanding
or picking a fight with us
or bossing us around;
we like them tucking us into bed
at night, rubbing our back,
reading us a bedtime story;
we like them curling our hair,
putting icing on the birthday cake,
wrapping our presents
for the holidays;
we like them listening in
on our phone calls
and disapproving of our dates,
our sex lives, our marriages,
our careers, or how we drive
the car, cook meals,
forget to phone them.

We like our mothers
in any culture, wearing
saris or sundresses,
overalls or power suits.
We like our mother's smile,
her dainty feet,
her apron-tied waist,
her flat or ample bosom,
the hip she rested us upon
when we were infants.

We like happily married mothers
and single mothers,
wealthy mothers who spend
their time in vain pursuits
or mothers with several children
and no time for themselves.

We love our mothers
in every way it is possible
to love them, for every act
of nurturing, caring and trust
they have given us.
We love them for their criticisms,
their nagging, their cautions,
their old mother sayings,
their warnings and their wisdom.

We love our mothers
for believing in us, for providing
our neurosis, for neglecting us
or showering us with special
attention; we love our mothers
for becoming old women,
for staying forever young,
for the sacrifices they make,
for their selfish ways,
for every day
     and every year
worth of love
they have lavished
upon us. Even the mothers
we love to hate,
never knew,
fear to cross
offer us benediction,
the closest we can ever come
to home. Mother.
We came each from her,
and we are grateful
in all measure
for the comfort of mothers.


Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo:, 2004 | Poems | The Comfort of Mothers
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Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
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CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
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