Mama Economics

by | May 5, 2022 | Poetry

Here’s a poem that reminds us about how mothers keep the world spinning Tell her how much you appreciate her.
Artwork by Jo Scott

Mama knew how to stretch
Beans and rice,
Chicken and dumplings,
Cornbread and beans,
in times both tough and lean.

Take to the scrub board
to clean my clothes,
help me with my lessons,
and blow my nose.

Wash the hand-me-downs,
and press them real fine,
shine up our faces with Vaseline,
so other folks would look on us kind.

Clean the floor so you
could see your reflection.
Its Pine-sol gleam made you
marvel at its perfection.

Take a tin of sardines,
and make salmon croquettes.
Crunch some crackers up in pasta
and made a good meal, you bet.

Leftovers made a pot of stew
or a surprise meal- one just never knew.

Castor Oil and Vicks’s menthol
on our chests felt like fire.
But homemade remedies
meant less trips to the doctor.

Lay-away for school clothes and instruments.
Money was tight, but somehow we knew
when she pulled out the Sears catalog
Mama economics would see us thru.

I’ve got kids of my own now,
and I wonder what magic Mama used
to get us all grown and out of school.
We all had glasses and our feet surely grew.

But somehow Mama‘s magic
helped us all to muddle through.