Mother's Day Poems to Show Your Love and Appreciation
Poems for Mom from Daughter
There’s nothing like the relationship between a mother and daughter, and these Mother’s Day poems from daughters touch on the special love between moms and daughters.
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
By Christina Rossetti
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.
The Envelope (Excerpt)
By Maxine Kumin
Like those old pear-shaped Russian dolls that open
at the middle to reveal another and another, down
to the pea-sized, irreducible minim,
may we carry our mothers forth in our bellies.
By Ann Taylor
Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hush’d me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sung sweet hushaby,
And rock’d me that I should not cry?
Who sat and watched my infant head,
When sleeping in my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
Who dress’d my doll in clothes so gay,
And taught me pretty how to play.
And minded all I had to say?
Who taught my infant lips to pray,
And love God’s holy book and day.
And walk in Wisdom’s pleasant way?
And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who was so very kind to me?
Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear;
And if God please my life to spare,
I hope I shall reward thy care,
Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
When thou art feeble, old, and gray,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
And when I see thee hang thy head,
‘Twill be my turn to watch thy bed.
And tears of sweet affection shed,
For could our Father in the skies
Look down with pleased or loving eyes,
If ever I could dare despise
To My Mother
By Lucretia Maria Davidson
O thou whose care sustained my infant years,
And taught my prattling lip each note of love;
Whose soothing voice breathed comfort to my fears,
And round my brow hope’s brightest garland wove;
To thee my lay is due, the simple song,
Which Nature gave me at life’s opening day;
To thee these rude, these untaught strains belong,
Whose heart indulgent will not spurn my lay.
O say, amid this wilderness of life,
What bosom would have throbbed like thine for me?
Who would have smiled responsive?—who in grief,
Would e’er have felt, and, feeling, grieved like thee?
Who would have guarded, with a falcon-eye,
Each trembling footstep or each sport of fear?
Who would have marked my bosom bounding high,
And clasped me to her heart, with love’s bright tear?
Who would have hung around my sleepless couch,
And fanned, with anxious hand, my burning brow?
Who would have fondly pressed my fevered lip,
In all the agony of love and wo?
None but a mother—none but one like thee,
Whose bloom has faded in the midnight watch;
Whose eye, for me, has lost its witchery,
Whose form has felt disease’s mildew touch.
Yes, thou hast lighted me to health and life,
By the bright lustre of thy youthful bloom—
Yes, thou hast wept so oft o’er every grief,
That wo hath traced thy brow with marks of gloom.
O then, to thee, this rude and simple song,
Which breathes of thankfulness and love for thee,
To thee, my mother, shall this lay belong,
Whose life is spent in toil and care for me.
[Untitled Poem: Your arms were always open when I needed a hug.]
By Sarah Malin
Your arms were always open when I needed a hug.
Your heart understood when I needed a friend.
Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson.
Your strength and love guided me and gave me wings to soar.
Poems for Mom from Son
They say you can tell the type of husband a boy will be from the way he treats his Mama. For all the Mamas out there who raised their sons to be gentlemen, here are some poems for mom from sons to celebrate Mother’s Day.
When all the others were away at Mass (Excerpt from Clearances)
By Seamus Heaney
When all the others were away at Mass
I was all hers as we peeled potatoes.
They broke the silence, let fall one by one
Like solder weeping off the soldering iron:
Cold comforts set between us, things to share
Gleaming in a bucket of clean water.
And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes
From each other’s work would bring us to our senses.
So while the parish priest at her bedside
Went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying
And some were responding and some crying
I remembered her head bent towards my head,
Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives–
Never closer the whole rest of our lives.
The Laughing Child
By W. S. Merwin
When she looked down from the kitchen window
into the back yard and the brown wicker
baby carriage in which she had tucked me
three months old to lie out in the fresh air
of my first January the carriage
was shaking she said and went on shaking
and she saw I was lying there laughing
she told me about it later it was
something that reassured her in a life
in which she had lost everyone she loved
before I was born and she had just begun
to believe that she might be able to
keep me as I lay there in the winter
laughing it was what she was thinking of
later when she told me that I had been
a happy child and she must have kept that
through the gray cloud of all her days and now
out of the horn of dreams of my own life
I wake again into the laughing child
Tribute to Mother
By John Greenleaf Whittier
A picture memory brings to me;
I look across the years and see
Myself beside my mother’s knee.
I feel her gentle hand restrain
My selfish moods, and know again
A child’s blind sense of wrong and pain.
But wiser now, a man gray grown,
My childhood’s needs are better known.
My mother’s chastening love I own.
The Angel that presided ‘oer my birth
By William Blake
The Angel that presided ‘oer my birth
Said, “Little creature, form’d of Joy and Mirth,
“Go love without the help of any Thing on Earth.”
A Mother’s Love (Excerpt)
By James Montgomery
Within a heart of earthy mould,
As much of heaven as heart can hold,
Nor through eternity grows cold :
This was that Mother’s Love.
Short Mother’s Day Poems
When it comes to Moms, just saying a few words like “I love you,” “thank you,” or “you are appreciated” can mean the world. These short Mother’s Day poems have, though few, all the right words to tell her that you love her, you thank her, and you appreciate her.
To My Mother (Excerpt)
By Edgar Allan Poe
Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother”
Another Poem for Mothers (Excerpt)
By Erin Belieu
How to describe
that world that mothers spin
and consume and trap
and love us in, that spreads
for years and men and miles?
Those particular hands that could
smooth anything: butter on bread,
cool sheets or weather. It’s
the wonder of them, good or bad,
those mother-hands that pet
and shape and slap,
that sew you together
the pieces of a better house
or life in which you’ll try
By Lola Ridge
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.
Excerpt from milk and honey
By Rupi Kaur
i struggle so deeply
how someone can
pour their entire soul
blood and energy
-i will have to wait till i’m a mother
Excerpt from Dreaming Water
By Gail Tsukiyama
Mothers and their children are in a category all their own.
There's no bond so strong in the entire world.
No love so instantaneous and forgiving.
Funny Mother’s Day Poems
You can’t live life as a mom without being able to find humor in (most) situations. These funny Mother’s Day poems will make her laugh.
Some Things Don’t Make Any Sense at All
By Judith Viorst
My mom says I’m her sugarplum.
My mom says I’m her lamb.
My mom says I’m completely perfect
Just the way I am.
My mom says I’m a super-special wonderful terrific little guy.
My mom just had another baby.
Lunchbox Love Note
By Kenn Nesbitt
Inside my lunch
to my surprise
a perfect heart-shaped
love note lies.
The outside says,
“Will you be mine?”
and, “Will you be
I take it out
and wonder who
would want to tell me
“I love you.”
Perhaps a girl
who’s much too shy
to hand it to me
eye to eye.
Or maybe it
was sweetly penned
in private by
a secret friend
Who found my lunchbox
and slid the note in
on the sly.
Oh, I’d be thrilled
if it were Jo,
the cute one in
the second row.
Or could it be
Has she found out
I’m sweet on her?
My mind’s abuzz,
my shoulders tense.
I need no more
of this suspense.
My stomach lurching
in my throat,
I open up
my little note.
Then wham! as if
it were a bomb,
inside it reads,
“I love you—Mom.”
Ma and God
By Shel Silverstein
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your fork.”
God gave us voices–Ma says, “Don’t scream.”
Ma says eat broccoli, cereal and carrots.
But God gave us tasteys for maple ice cream.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Use your hanky.”
God gave us puddles–Ma says, “Don’t splash.”
Ma says, “Be quiet, your father is sleeping.”
But God gave us garbage can covers to crash.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Put your gloves on.”
God gave us raindrops–Ma says, “Don’t get wet.”
Ma says be careful, and don’t get too near to
Those strange lovely dogs that God gave us to pet.
God gave us fingers–Ma says, “Go wash ’em.”
But God gave us coal bins and nice dirty bodies.
And I ain’t too smart, but there’s one thing for certain–
Either Ma’s wrong or else God is.
By Billy Collins
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly-
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that's what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-clothes on my forehead,
and then led me out into the air light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift - not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-toned lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
Mother’s Chocolate Valentine
By Jack Prelutsky
I bought a box of chocolate hearts,
a present for my mother,
They looked so good I tasted one,
and then I tried another.
They both were so delicious
that I ate another four,
and then another couple,
and then half a dozen more.
I couldn’t seem to stop myself,
I nibbled on and on,
before I knew what happened
all the chocolate hearts were gone.
I felt a little guilty,
I was stuffed down to my socks,
I ate my mother’s valentine . . .
I hope she likes the box.
Simple Mother’s Day Poems
If you want to get right to the point without too much flowery language, these simple Mother’s Day poems say everything that needs to be said—no more, no less.
To My Mother
By Robert Louis Stevenson
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance to hear once more
The little feet along the floor.
Rock Me to Sleep (Excerpt)
By Elizabeth Akers Allen
Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,—
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Poems Done on a Late Night Car (Excerpt)
By Carl Sandburg
Here is a thing my heart wishes the world had more of:
I heard it in the air of one night when I listened
To a mother singing softly to a child restless and angry in the darkness.
A Mother’s Love
By Helen Steiner Rice
A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
By Howard Johnson
“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold,
“E” is for her eyes with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be
Put them all together, and they spell “Mother,”
A word that means the world to me.
Mother's Day in Heaven Poems
At some point in our lives, our moms won’t be with us on Mother’s Day. Celebrate her life with these beautiful Mother’s Day in heaven poems.
For My Mother
By May Sarton
I summon you
Out of the past
With poignant love,
You who nourished the poet
And the lover.
I see your gray eyes
Looking out to sea
In those Rockport summers,
Keeping a distance
Within the closeness
Which was never intrusive
Into the world.
And what I remember
Is how we laughed
Till we cried
Swept into merriment
Especially when times were hard.
And what I remember
Is how you never stopped creating
And how people sent me
Dresses you had designed
With rich embroidery
In brilliant colors
Because they could not bear
To give them away
Or cast them aside.
I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
The courage that my mother had
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.
The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.
Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave!—
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.
By Judith Kroll
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,
they will always be your clothes without you,
as we will always be your daughters without you.
The Persistence of Scent
By Cindy Williams Gutiérrez
Mother, you will persist in fragrances—
the nectar-scent of carrots, pineapple, pecans
baking in a two-layer cake. I will shorten
my mornings into hours of praise.
More than alchemy, fresh cilantro—
in pungent handfuls—will be sautéed with garlic,
onions, tomatoes. And like magic, beans
will turn into savories in my ordinary kitchen.
And the aroma of lilies will not be resisted.
I will plant tigers, stars, Easters, cannas, callas.
The rain on their talcum will conjure you—
your skin this satiny scent—
here, on the porch swing, just after a bath.
I will sprinkle lily petals on my pond,
dip my hand in this holy water,
rub your silk into my fingers.
But it is the tang of the sea that will return
your salt to soothe my wound. Here in this watery
womb of the earth—this place you love only
from a distance since you never learned to swim—
here I will stop holding my breath, inhale the sting.
When Great Trees Fall
By Maya Angelou
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.