Short Story: Mother

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About this Short Story

Written by
Karen Graham


A goodbye note from child to parent. My first attempt at a poem in a long time. Suggestions for improvement very welcome. (Title is provisional.)


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Mother I'm leaving to visit the world

I do not know by which road I'll return.

Say goodbye to the river for me,

My spirit it longs for the sea.

Mother I'm leaving to visit the world

I do not know when again I'll see home.

I'm packing my heart in my black kit bag,

And heading towards a new day.

Mother I'm leaving to visit the world

I do not know what it is that awaits.

I leave behind the graves and the sky,

My body it aches to be free.

Mother I'm leaving to visit the world.

I am trying not to cry.

But the one I love has gone,

And there's nothing left here for me.

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Sam Kandej said "Nice poem."
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "Read this again immediately after I finished your blog post, Karen. Both my kids left home last year. My son is at Uni and my daughter who is a MH Nurse got digs nearer the hospital, so the them here obviously resonated. Leaving someone, a place (and a time) is relative I feel as some offspring never really leave the 'home' despite getting married and having kids and some leave emotionally when still living at home. I agree to an extent that Shortbread is akin to Kings Cross - a place to meet before moving on - sadly though that makes me a dosser as I got stuck here not unlike some character in a PKD novel who cannot try as he may, move on! The discipline required for writing poetry is somewhat beyond me but I have learned to appreciate it through Shortbread poets - ATVB - Adam"
3 years ago
Belinda Marden said "This is a pretty cool poem. I am doing poetry in English (year 11) at school and I mainly think it is a drag because my teacher tends to ruin everything for my class unintentionally (she even ruined Avatar). But when I read a poem off my back I tend to connect to it more and I really like this poem. But I can't help but think that there is more to this poem, like this isn't the last of the person who is leaving. Keep writing because it is definitly for you! -Belinda :)"
3 years ago
Anthony Wobbe said "The round about, the keeping of the theme, was well placed and the end was very sad. The depth of the poet is definitely not mine. I enjoyed this however, keep em' comin'!"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you for your comment Anthony. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem :-)"
3 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "some really lovely word play in this and really deep emotion. I'm glad you got it finished and hope you'll put some more up. I did have a bit of trouble now and again with the rhythm and I did the reading aloud bit but sometimes I find as a reader you have to try a few times to get it to click so I will come back. I have Stephen Fry's wonderful book about poetry writing The Ode less Travelled and there is an exercise in there where you highlight the syllables with a little dash and then the next one with a back slash and then you can count up to see if you have it all equal. it works beautifully (not in blank verse of course but then I've never conquered that) - I'm looking forward to reading some more of your stuff - Diane"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Diane. My sister currently has my copy of 'The Ode Less Travelled'. I couldn't really get into it myself. Something about starting with iambic pentameter and the rhythm and metre dissection reminded me too much of my undergrad technical poetry course. I will sit down and work on the structure at some point, but for now I'm really glad that the emotion came through."
3 years ago
Hugh Cron said "Hi Karen, just something for you to consider. To me (Only a thought!) the second lines after the 'Mother' line seem a little too long. I think the last stanza with the line 'I am trying not to cry' sounds as if it has the right rhythm and length to it. It follows the 'Mother' line very well. The content is strong and sad and makes you consider that the poor soul will now have two voids in there life. All the best. Hugh"
3 years ago
Hugh Cron replied saying "Hi Karen, I was very interested to read your blog. It got me thinking about the whole complicated process. I think as readers and writers we look at things in two totally different ways. Even if the author is completely happy with it, then it is still open to interpretation by the reader. I suppose that can go for structure as well. In yet I once spoke to an old writer and he stated that you should never look at your own work without wanting to alter it. I have had comments regarding certain words and things being forced. Some I agree with, some I don’t. There is one poem that even after thirty years, I still can’t agree within myself whether a word should be used or not. I also reckon that the rhythm of a poem can also be altered by how we read it. This can come down to speed, perceived meaning, emphasis or even our own dialect. There is a two way respect for any piece of work, from the writer and from the reader. I believe that structure is never as important as the message. (That is only my preference. Some people are very strict within structure and there is nothing wrong with that, it is up to the individual) The meaning of any work can be interpreted a hundred different ways and only the author will know which it was to them. I enjoy the audience participation and if someone takes anything out of what I have written, I am pleased. I will not say that I never think to myself, where did that come from? I suppose when you get right down to it there are no absolutes, only opinions and preferences. As you state at the end of your blog, poetry takes on a life of its own and I think that can only benefit us both as readers and writers. Thanks so much for lots to consider. I look forward to reading more from you. All the very best. Hugh"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for the feedback, Hugh. I'm glad that the difference between the last lines and the rest of the poem comes through, as that's really what I was aiming for with the change in rhythm. I agree that it needs some work still and it's good to get a different perspective on it."
3 years ago
Adam West Guest Editor said "I hope publishing this poem gives you the courage to continue to write, Karen - gloriously simple yet wonderfully evocative poem - many thanks, Adam"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Adam :-D Now all I need to do is find the time!"
3 years ago
Katherine Brown said "It's beautiful! You have penned down the emotions really well. I loved the opening lines "Mother I'm leaving to visit the world I do not know by which road I'll return". You should check out an online poetry contest and post it there- http://www.tallenge.com/contest/literaturepoetrycontest.html"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks Katherine. I'm not sure I'm at competition standard yet (that makes me sound a bit like a show dog) but I'll keep it in mind."
3 years ago
Kate Smart Guest Editor said "I'm glad you posted this. It's very emotional and in that way it worked for me as I really felt it. I loved the imagery of the river and sea. I hope to publish some poetry as well - I think/find it takes more courage to post poetry than prose, because it does tend to be more emotional - also, I'm never sure if a poem actually works as I know nothing about how to write it properly. Do keep posting your work, I will look forward to reading it and it will encourage me to post mine!"
3 years ago
Karen Graham Guest Editor replied saying "Thanks for your comment Kate, and for your help in the forum. I find poetry easier in that it doesn't take as long to finish, but it is definitely more emotional for me than prose. I'd love to read yours sometime and will keep my eye open for it in the near future ;-)"
3 years ago

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