While in North America this Sunday is the day when the clocks ‘spring forward’, in Ireland and the UK it is Mother’s Day, also called Mothering Sunday. The latter name came from the era of armies of domestic servants who were allowed home, brandishing Simnel cake, on that Sunday in March, often close to Lady Day. For many in domestic service this was the only day off a year. (Simnel cake is also a British Easter cake and is topped by little marzipan balls, which might also double as eggs.) Lady Day falls on March 25th, the old Gregorian calendar New Year’s Day. Coincidentally, it was also the date when tenant farmers needed to pay their landlords the annual rent.
I missed out last Sunday to mark International Women’s Day with a poem since I was busy with a Zoom workshop. So I decided to write a bonus poem this week.
Mothering Sunday It is pouring outside. Like that milk that pours from that bottomless urn in the night sky. We are millenia and thousands of miles away from Hathor pouring from her night sky jug. She is up there, invisible this rainy Mothering Sunday in Ireland. We complain of the rain, but never the constant flowing milk of mother love, that distinctive kindness continually raining down- meal after meal, the relentless tide of washing, the wiped snot, the iodined hurts, the tears wiped, the home work, hand-made and patch-worked, the loneliness that is only told to the Milky Way some nights reserved just for mothers when Hathor rains down from her realm that mother love for the tired, tried, and tested mothers' whose udders ache from their continurally lactating love, milking the final drop left on this parched planet as they ceaselessly hold up the sky. Copyright Bee Smith, 2021. All rights reserved.