Poetry

17 Mother’s Day Poems: The Long, The Short, and All The Love In Between

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Ann-Marie Cahill

Contributor

Ann-Marie Cahill will read anything and everything. From novels to trading cards to the inside of CD covers (they’re still a thing, right?). A good day is when her kids bring notes home from school. A bad day is when she has to pry a book from her kids’ hands. And then realizes where they get it from. The only thing Ann-Marie loves more than reading is travelling. She has expensive hobbies.

Ann-Marie Cahill

Contributor

Ann-Marie Cahill will read anything and everything. From novels to trading cards to the inside of CD covers (they’re still a thing, right?). A good day is when her kids bring notes home from school. A bad day is when she has to pry a book from her kids’ hands. And then realizes where they get it from. The only thing Ann-Marie loves more than reading is travelling. She has expensive hobbies.

Mother’s Day is just around the calendar corner and every year, many of us search for the perfect words to express everything we feel for our mothers. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it is all consuming. Sometimes it’s hidden away in the perfect Mother’s Day poems, waiting for you to discover their gifts.

Here are 17 beautiful and evoking poems, all about the relationship between mother and child. From short mother’s day poems to grand romantic gestures (and some heart-tuggers in between), these poems will help you capture everything you are looking for on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Poems, For When You Want To Keep It Short and Sweet

You’re my mother.

I would have no other.
—Forest Houtenschil

Before a day was over,
Home comes the rover,
For mother’s kiss—sweeter this
Than any other thing!
—William Allingham, “Wishing” from The Fairies

My mother was

my first country,
The first place I
ever lived.
—Nayyirah Waheed, “lands” from Salt

If I had a single flower
for every time I think about you,
I could walk forever
in my garden
—Claudia Adrienne Grandi

When You Want to Hold On to Simple Innocence

Mommy, I love you

For all that you do.
I’ll kiss you and hug you
‘Cause you love me, too.

—Nicholas Gordon [excerpt]

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather,

—George Cooper [excerpt]

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

Strickland Gillilan, “The Reading Mother” [excerpt]

When You Want To Make Grand Romantic Gestures

Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors…
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.

Lola Ridge, “Mother” [excerpt]

The water of her womb, your first home
The body she pulled apart to welcome you to the world.
The spirit in you she helped grow with all she knew.
The heart that she gave you when yours fell apart.

—Nikita Gill, “Mother” from Your Soul Is A River [excerpt]

You have told me
all the things
I need to hear
before I knew
I needed to hear them

Lang Leav, “A Thank You Note” [excerpt]

i struggle so deeply
to understand
how someone can
pour their entire soul
blood and energy
into someone
without wanting
anything in
return
—Rupi Kaur, “I Will Have to Wait Until I’m a Mother” from Milk and Honey

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

—Ann Taylor, “My Mother” [excerpt]

Sometimes I know the words to say to give thanks for all you’ve done,
but then they fly up and away as quickly as they come.

How could I possibly thank you enough, the one who makes me whole,
the one to whom I owe my life, the forming of my soul.

The one who tucked me in at night, the one who stopped my crying,
the one who was the expert at picking up when I was lying.

—Reanna Almeida, “Never Enough” [excerpt]

When You Only Want To Remember

Of course they are empty shells, without hope of animation.
Of course they are artifacts.

Even if my sister and I should wear some,
or if we give others away,

Judith Kroll, “Your Clothes” [excerpt]

How I loved those spiky suns,
rooted stubborn as childhood
in the grass, tough as the farmer’s
big-headed children—the mats
of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe.
Jean Nordhaus, “A Dandelion for My Mother” [excerpt]

When You Know You Weren’t The Easiest of Kids

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

—Rudyard Kipling (dedication to his mother in The Light That Failed) [excerpt]

And When You Only Need a Smile to Say It All

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Happy Mother’s Day!
Sorry you don’t have a kid who can rhyme.
—Anon.

What are your favorite Mother’s Day poems? Have a bookish mom? Make sure to check out bookish Mother’s Day gifts here