Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MOTHER, by HOLMAN F. DAY

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THE MOTHER, by            
First Line: There's a letter on the bottom of the pile
Last Line: The message to the dear old home up there in maine.
Variant Title(s): With Love - From Mother

THERE'S a letter on the bottom of the pile,
Its envelope a faded yellow brown,
It has traveled to the city many a mile,
And the postmark names a little unknown town.

But the hurried man of business pushes all the others by,
And on the scrawly characters he turns a glistening eye,
He forgets the cares of commerce and his anxious schemes for gain,
The while he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.

There are quirks and scratchy quavers of the pen
Where it struggled in the fingers old and bent.
There are places that he has to read again
And ponder on to find what mother meant.

There are letters on his table that enclose some bouncing checks;
There are letters giving promises of profits on his "specs."
But he tosses all the litter by, forgets the golden rain,
Until he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.

At last he finds "with love--we are all well,"
And softly lays the homely letter down,
And dashes at his headlong tasks pellmell,
Once more the busy, anxious man of town.

But whenever in his duties as the rushing moments fly
That faded little envelope smiles up to meet his eye,
He turns again to labor with a stronger, truer brain,
From thinking on what mother wrote from up in Maine.

Through all the day he dictates brisk replies,
To his amanuensis at his side,--
The curt and stern demand, and business lies,--
The doubting man cajoled, and threat defied.

And then at dusk when all are gone, he drops his worldly mask
And takes his pen and lovingly performs a welcome task;
For never shall the clicking type or shortened scrawl profane
The message to the dear old home up there in Maine.

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