I'm Your Mother

by D. Allison Smith

Mother always said:
"The first rule of negotiation is 'No ask. No get.'"
Hair pulled back in a
tight black bun and
wearing flat shoes;
the executive made a life for us as

Mother always said:
"There are two things you don't do – 
You don't waste my time and 
you don't waste my money."
Wearing a three-piece suit
to wheel and deal,

Mother always said:
"I'm not your Ma, Mum or Mummy;
I'm your Mother."
Speaking to me as if I were grown, adding:
"Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend." or
"It's not mi – en; it's mit – ten."
when my language strayed too urban.

Mother always said:
"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance,
baffle them with bull!"
If I said:
"Mother, I want that."

Mother always said:
"…yes, and people in Hell want ice water."
As I rolled my eyes at the terse quip and
once the belt flew

Mother always said:
"This hurts me more than it hurts you."
Yet of all the proverbs
and all the wise words
I most remember

Mother always saying:
"You are the one reason 
God put me on this Earth."