I need
preparation strategy days
to prepare for
one holiday.

Now, each year
I ask in awe,
How did Mom
do it?

How did she
do it all
with such grace
for her kids,

a dog underfoot,
her own mother,
and a husband
who always declared

holidays is
women’s work, then
disappeared to some
clandestine destination.

Wish I paid
more attention
to how she did
what she did.

The woman had a plan
for each holiday,
put into action
under strict schedule.

Watching Mom
was like watching
a general coordinate
an army.

We were assigned tasks
but too often lacked
energy, spirit and passion
to commit.

But Mom still
infused each
celebration with
love, fun and grace.

No half stepping.
Her vision was clear
as she reviewed
and revised details.
Mom always found
room for unexpected 
always welcomed guests
into our home. 

I regret not learning
all her “dos and don’ts”
But am forever grateful
to God for Mom,

who loved us despite
ourselves, created a home 
in which we were loved.
Can I get an Amen!


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. Janet prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers. A lot. Her column appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.