Mother’s Lament


 She looks askance as tea is made

With meshy bags a-dangling

In giant mug receptacles,

She jokes,

Like kitchen fairies angling.

She tells a tale of yesteryear,

Of times when life was slower.

She talks of silver cutlery,

White tablecloths,

How standards now are lower.

She recollects how manners were

In generations past,

When calling someone by first name,

Unless related,

Would leave them quite aghast.

She reminisces gracious days,

When, for their refreshment,

Guests were offered cups of tea,

And sandwiches,

For ladylike assessment.

She tells how once the butter knife

Was used with much decorum,

Spoons for jam, and jugs for sauce,

Not jars,

Nor bottles, but to store them.

Recalling silver teapots and

Their matching sugar bowls,

Crystal plates of little cakes,

Cream puffs,

Cloths fancy-worked with holes.

She shows her trove of knitted ware,

Tea cosies, out of favour,

Explains their insulating role,

On pots,

Their making, worth the labour.

She misses cultivated style,

The china cup and saucer,

The dainty afternoon repast,

For sadly,

Trends today are coarser.


A smile creeps slowly to her face

She makes a sly confession.

She’s happy with things as they are,

She must admit,

With mischievous expression.

She begs us not to take account

Of all her prior complaining.

These things are not of consequence,


Just keep what’s worth retaining.

Her rant and rave were full of bluff.

She’ll keep her cups and saucers

Safe ensconced behind their glass,


And use mugs, like her daughters.

Make your home a place of peace,

And welcome every guest.

Serve with cheer and loving grace,

She says.

They surely will be blessed.

© Ellen Carr 2014

4 responses to this post.

  1. Dear Ellen, this is such a delightful poem! I enjoyed reading this very much. The ending lines are uplifting! Blessings, Dee


  2. Dear Dee, Thanks for your encouraging comment. Much appreciated.
    Blessings, Ellen


  3. Posted by Merryn on 19/12/2014 at 6:39 am

    I love this poem- reminds me of my great-aunt and all the dainty serving dishes and covers she used to use. N’s Grandma puts a real fine-crocheted doily on the plates under the food. Soon this will be forgotten so it is lovely that you preserved it in your poem.


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