For Wanda, and all mothers ---
I can't forget the feeling when first I heard you cry.
I couldn't understand you though, I wanted, so, to try.
Bewildered tears ran down your face. I couldn't tell you then.
Now I think you understand that's how a life begins.
A tiny little baby so helpless and so weak --
Already had some things to say, but, knew not how to speak.
Forced into a different world than that from which you came -
You had to face a brand new life before you knew your name.
A mother's love surrounded you in the world from which you came.
And, as you grow, from day to day, I hope you'll feel the same.
As time goes passing by, I hope we'll not pretend,
Let me be there when you cry - Just let me be your friend.
Both a student and a teacher in your life, I want to be.
There are things that you can learn from me, and some you can teach me.
Wherever life may take you, a mother's love I'll send.
So, when you really need someone, just let me be your friend.
My child, I hope you understand that I don't know it all.
At times along uncertain roads, you may see me trip and fall.
So, I hope you'll be there too, if I should need to mend.
And, whether happiness or sorrow comes, please let me be your friend.
Jacob Payne, 1982
All Rights Reserved
"Why God gave this to me, I'll never know. It is the emotion I believe most mothers feel. It was 1982 and I was driving alone from Houston to Waco where Wanda and Joan, my wife and daughter, were to meet me. I started thinking over and over about mothers and children. I remember scribbling on a pad lying on the passenger’s seat of the car as I drove along the interstate (a practice I certainly don't recommend). By the time I reached Waco, the poem just needed cleaning up and polishing up...... Jake"