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Poem Summary: My Mother at Sixty-Six by Kamla Das

In this post, we are going to discuss the summary of this poem which is based on love for mother. Before you get your hands on the summary, it is advised to read the poem given below.


Poem:
Driving from my parent’s
home to Cochin last Friday
morning, I saw my mother,
beside me,
doze, open mouthed, her face
ashen like that
of a corpse and realized with pain
that she was as old as she
looked but soon
put that thought away, and
looked out at Young
Trees sprinting, the merry children spilling
out of their homes, but after the airport’s
security check, standing a few yards
away, I looked again at her, wan, pale
as a late winter’s moon and felt that old
familiar ache, my childhood’s fear,
but all I said was, see you soon, Amma,
all I did was smile and smile and
smile......

Poem Summary:

This poem is actually a thought. When the poet is travelling to airport from her mother’s home, she sees her mother is sleeping beside her in a car. Her mouth was open and she was sleeping like a dead body. At this sight, the poet imagines her to be dead and shudders at the thought of her death. The poet knows that her mother is growing old, thus she may die soon or any day. Mentally she was terrified but at the same getting prepared for the worst. As a child she always hated to think that her mother would die one day.

To counterattack the negative thought, the author looks outside the moving car. To her surprise she finds trees passing by and children playing – this sight presents the antithesis of death, which is life.

Next, at the airport, she closely studies the face of her mother and finds that she indeed has waned or grown old. Here the poet compares the senile condition of her mother to that pale moon of winter. Well, again to come over the dreadful thoughts of her death, the poet smiles at her and says that she will see her soon. As a forced optimistic person, she thinks that her mother will live for many years.

Though the poem is short and like a thought but will initiate the moments of nostalgia at the thought of losing mother. Among children, mother is preferred in the first place and no child will ever want their mother to die.

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