The Garden Reading – Mary Cassatt – 1898


I wrote the poem below several years ago; I share it here once again for Mother’s Day.


The Longing Arms

filled now and spilling
when arms hold
and hush the
long anticipated one-
sweet love requited.

Did I know
how empty they were-
my arms, heart-
before you?
You laughed at the emptiness
and swallowed it whole.

…of the wind
she is, a soft kiss
come alive
the eyes and face of those with
thin, motherless arms.


© prasanta  2011



I wrote this poem as I recalled my own experience of becoming a mother, and end the poem with a thought about the many children who have no one to hold them.

This poem is in a form called the Shadorma, with the following syllabic structure in each stanza: 3-5-3-3-7-5.


Below are some paintings by Mary Cassatt.  Mary Cassatt was an American painter, but who spent some of her adult life in France. She is an Impressionist painter, known specifically for highlighting the bond between mothers and children in some of her paintings. (Source: Wikipedia)

The works below (and above) are in the public domain.



the childs bath - mary cassatt

The Child’s Bath – Mary Cassatt 1880




Breakfast-in-Bed-Mary Cassatt

Breakfast in Bed – Mary Cassatt – 1897




The Banjo Lesson - Mary Cassatt -

The Banjo Lesson – Mary Cassatt – 1893




Auguste Reading to her Daughter – Mary Cassatt – 1910




After the Bath- Mary cassatt

After the Bath – Mary Cassatt – 1901