Poem: ILENE ON HER

by Shelley Goldbeck

For my mother’s 75th birthday, I wrote this poem to honour her for her life of service to our family.

 

 

ILENE is my mother’s name and after decades it has occurred to me
Just how appropriate her name is when I think about our family.
She has quietly supported Dad since she was only seventeen
And his life and ours just wouldn’t be the same without Ilene.

When she married she was 90 pounds soaking wet
But wiry and strong; you ain’t seen nothing yet!
She’s not much bigger now but she can still toss
Forty or fifty bales that weigh nearly as much as she does.

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.
Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.

A penny was never stretched like a penny in the hands of Mom.
As little as came through her hands, she always saved some.
And just when times are extra tough and no solution is in sight
My mom reveals her secret stash and saves the farm from its plight.

For many years she had a full-time job in town at the bank.
That regular paycheque ensured their small farm never sank.
Chores to do before she left and more when she came home
Never seemed to faze her, even when she did them all alone.

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.
Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.

Her garden and her chickens help keep the wolf from the door.
She works beside Dad, not desiring much more
Than being his partner, with a horse or two in the yard.
I challenge you to find a woman half her age who can work half as hard.

She keeps her health in check; she doesn’t need to take pills
But she faithfully ensures Dad takes his to ward off all his ills.
She silently consents when he conjures brand new schemes
And participates completely in the fulfillment of their dreams.

She has seen her share of sorrows but she always wears a smile
Despite the trials and burdens of walking with Dad along the miles.
She would say her life’s been happy though she’s never had much nice stuff.
Having horses in common with Dad, to her, has always been enough.

Ilene on her, my partner, my wife. Ilene on her to get me through life.
Ilene on her each and every day. Ilene on her; there’s no other way.