Mothering Sunday: a sonnet

…for those who loved and laboured…

Mothering Sunday can be both a joyful and a painfully poignant day. For many it is a day to grieve the loss of a mother, for others a time to yearn for absent children. Nevertheless we can love and be thankful and remember that our very existence in the world is testimony to the love and labour of our mothers. So once more I post my poem of thanksgiving for all parents, especialy for those who bore the fruitful pain of labour.And more particularly in this poem I have singled out for praise those heroic single parents who, for whatever reason, have found themselves bearing alone the burdens, and sharing with no-one the joys of their parenthood. They were already isolated before ‘self isolation’ was a thing, and now, with schools closed, their labour is multiplied, and without the help f neighbours. We cannot bring them physically into the church today, but in our prayers we bring them into Christ.

This poem is from my book Sounding the Seasons published by Canterbury Press and it is available on Amazon Here

I am grateful to Oliver  Neale for his thought-provoking work as a photographer, and, as always, you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button, or on the title

Mothering Sunday


At last, in spite of all, a recognition,

For those who loved and laboured for so long,

Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition

To flourish in the place where we belong.

A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising,

Who buckled down and did the work of two,

Whom governments have mocked instead of praising,

Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through,

The single mothers forced onto the edge

Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected,

Invisible to wealth and privilege,

But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected.

Now into Christ our mother church we bring them,

Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.

If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!

Buy Me A Coffee


Filed under imagination

6 responses to “Mothering Sunday: a sonnet

  1. Carol Timney

    Thank you so much, you see so clearly. A single mum and grandmother.

  2. Lyn Youll Marshall

    Dear Malcolm,

    I am writing to thank you for this beautiful poem.

    When I was living in England and a single mother, Arch Bishop George Carey made a strongly worded statement countering comments from government representatives of the day that children of single parents would be more likely to drop out of school, turn to drugs and commit crimes. At least that is how I recall and received the message.

    I was not a Christian at the time but shortly afterwards I would make a commitment to our Lord. I am now a retired (though still working) priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. My daughter is a Crown Prosecutor, and I have three beautiful grandchildren.

    All this to say again, thank you for recognizing the loneliness, financial challenges and shame one carries as a single parent, and the grace of God and those who know Him.

    May our Lord continue to bless you in your ministry,


    The Rev. Lyn Youll Marshall.


  3. allenteal

    Hi Malcolm Many thanks for sending through this poem for Mothering Sunday. Have noticed that neither the mp3 link or the ‘play’ button worked to hear you reading the poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.