My mother was a tough old bird, she didn’t scare too easy;
There was hardly anything that ever made her queasy.
The Great Depression left its mark upon her disposition;
She had no use for anyone who played the grand patrician.
We were told to clean our plates, or go to bed by golly;
And if we dared to sass her back, she hit us like a trolley.
But beneath the grim façade I knew a tender heart
Wanted but the best for us, although her words were tart.
The day I crashed my bicycle and bled on my new shirt
She shook me some in anger, and then whispered “Are you hurt?”
She soaked the shirt in tap water and when the stain was out
She told me to get going and complete my paper route.
My mother was a tough old bird, as I have said before;
She never bought us candy when she took us to the store.
The lessons that I learned from her were harsh, perhaps severe;
But I cannot think back to her without a grateful tear.