Ode to My Mother

by Rhonda Krehbiel

You are beautiful
In the way an old weathered book
is wise
In the way a sweater stretches and frays
molding to fit the wearer

Carrying three kids on your back
On your shoulders
In your hands
The burden has laced your kind smile

Because to you, everything
means something
Each load of laundry
Is a testimony to clean water

You are beautiful
In the way I don’t notice until you bake
With dowries on your fingers
Brushing flour from your cheeks