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Yesterday’s post linked to commentary that said poetry helps us appreciate how much things change and how much they stay the same. On a superficial level, the ideas seem contrary, but I know what that writer meant. I’ll offer these two poems as examples — “My Mother” and “With Dad.”

I could speak a million words,
But never say
All that my mother meant to me.
I could walk a million miles
But never stray
From what she meant for me to be.

All day we’d swing the crosscut saw
Unmindful of the wind so raw,
And side by side in Summer heat
We shucked the fields of oats and wheat.

I could write thousands of words on the universal theme of familial love, but I only have a few minutes today to write this. I guess it’s enough to say our upbringings may have occurred more than half a century apart, with drastic differences, but I understand perfectly the kind of love Art was trying to convey in writing these poems. Parents are special.

James Edward Mapes (holding reins), early 20th century. From the collection of Michael Mapes