Articles,, Poem, Poems, Writing

You Taught me to be a Writer; a Poem for my Mother

You taught me to be a writer

Republished May 2024 in honor of Mother’s Day

Since this is Women’s History Month, and mothers can play such a huge role in their daughters’ lives, I wanted to share a poem I wrote dedicated to my mother. She has always been a positive female influence and someone I look up to a lot.


you gasped as you looked at me for the first time.

9 pounds, 12 ounces.

you were just happy i was here.

you told dad to drive so carefully,

you were terrified i would wake

to a loose pebble on the road.

you named me Grace, cause why not?

it’s a sweet name, and i was sweet.

you rocked me to bed each night,

eyes never leaving mine

you filled shelves with children’s books

and let me flip back and forth through them

pointing to images along the way

and gargling in glee.

you got me a easel and teared up

when i painted a blob and it called it you.

you let me use all of our tape rolls

to put together pieces of paper

with incoherent sentences written on them

and call it a story.

you watched movies with me

and then watched as i went to my bedroom

to think about them for hours

and came back with a new movie, created by me.

at night, you let “i have a headache”

be my excuse to crawl into bed with you

and snuggle into your arms as if i was still

9 pounds, 12 ounces.

you brushed my hair as tenderly as you could

even though i still hated it,

and rubbed sunscreen onto my face

while i was trying to get on the swing.

you bought me birthday hats and

and watched with amusement

as i used them to throw my stuffed dogs parties

(and later weddings).

you smiled when i came home and told you about my elementary school

reading awards and smiled, even more, when i showed you

my a+ essays.

you laughed when i showed you the “oscar-worthy”

movies me and my friend, and then me and my cousins,

had created using the power of my ipad’s editing software.

you cried almost every mother’s day

when i handed you a letter, or poem, or collage

and told me never to buy you something

if i can write you something instead.

you sat me down next to you one day

and showed me a website you had found

for a school called asfa

and then you celebrated when i became as excited

about it as you.

you squealed when i got accepted,

and you told me i would write amazing things

even if i didn’t believe you yet.

and now you hug me and buy me junk food

every time i tear up and tell you i’m overwhelmed

you fold my laundry

every time you can see i’m too stressed.

you tell me to relax and watch netflix with you

even when i tell you i have no time

because you tell me i need a break.

you ask to read everything i write,

you give me books from your library to read,

you told me when i told you

that maybe i should just be an accountant or something

no. you’re too talented to punch numbers.

you need to keep writing.

and then you squealed again when i got my first publication,

and again when i won my first writing award,

you enveloped me in your arms

with pride i could feel radiating off of you

and held me, although i may be half a head taller now

as if i was still

9 pounds, 12 ounces.

Grace Sullivan

Grace Sullivan is a sophomore at the Alabama School of Fine Artswith a focus in creative writing. She is an active member of GirlSpring's Springboarders teen leadership group.

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  • chlo.mer

    Amazingly written and super touching!! Great job, Grace!!!

    May 12, 2020 at 11:51 am
  • victoriakindall2021

    This poem was so beautiful Grace! I love how you drew out the 9 pounds 12 ounces throughout your poem!

    July 2, 2020 at 8:21 pm
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