A Mother’s Day Tribute to Mother’s Everywhere

Joan Papalia Eisert has a B.A. in English from Gannon University. Over the past thirty-six years she has had numerous poems published in small press magazines, newspaper articles, on the Internet, and in Daystar Productions. Two of her poems earned blue ribbons, and one was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award (Sulfur and Sawdust, Scars Publications). Joan’s poetry has also been used in English classes, prison ministry, and various outreach missions. Her first chapbook of poetry, Flat Days was published in 1996. She has read her work at several poetry venues including: Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua, NY), Erie Book Store, Uncrowned Queens of Western New York’s poetry reading (Buffalo, NY), Mt. St. Benedict (Erie, PA), Maria House Projects’ Diocesan Lodge (West Spring Creek, PA), poetry reading venues in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and Authors Books and Music (Warren, PA). Joan’s poetry will be published in the premier issue of Mending Reality, and she is currently working on her latest poetry collection, Fluency.
Joan taught a Poetry/Creative Writing class at the Maria House Projects’ Diocesan Lodge in West Spring Creek, PA for 10 years. The Maria House Projects provide homes for troubled men who are in need of community for healing. They include alcoholics, drug addicts, men deeply disturbed emotionally, and men suffering from the effects of homelessness and imprisonment. Joan uses creative writing to help the residents heal through artistic expression. She is publisher/editor of ten volumes of For Pete’s Sake, which are the class’ literary collections.
Joan is also an accomplished singer, performing professional since 1971 starting out as a soloist. She was taught voice by Mary Jane Gregan, and extraordinary vocalist herself, from Edinboro, PA. Joan is half of the duo, Fire and Ice (with her husband Paul), now in their 32nd year of performing together, and she sang in the band, Daystar, for seven years.

March 9th 2010 (for Mom)

Her richly variegated eyes of brown and struggle
dilating in graceful homage
to the rays of this tender
early, ubiquitous sun
on this day of fragile yielding
to the promise of coming warmth
soothing like the balm in Gilead

In this golden spectrum
of such a fleeting moment
our love glistens
amid the brilliant gushings of

A Backyard Day

Reminiscent of my mother’s sheets
looking lonely on the line
when September was too warm
and we were gone
has my sweet caramel daughter
nibbling an apple in her wading pool
each look a book
while I’m clinging to the buzz and flutter
of this August afternoon

She’ll be gone before I know it
like my shadow
in this particular sun

A Warm Day in March

kissing the cat
curled beneath the breath
of tide laundered sheets
no noise today
conjures me returning to the upstairs
of her house
on one of those days
she’d gone to the market
with my mother
her bedroom first
to finger the jewelry and rosary beads
on the mirrored filigree tray
displayed on the dresser
across from the wall-wide closet
with drawers and drawers
full of leather purses
and shoes and shoes and shoes
rich syrupy savory leather shoes

look and touch
look and inhale
then pad to the bathroom
i’d already passed
at the top of the stairs
her aroma greets and lingers
staying awhile
in that small stuffed room
absorbing the tub tucked underneath
the glass block window
oscillating low afternoon rays
the trolley crowded with perfumes
atomizers soaps creams lipsticks
custom-blended foundations
and me me in the medicine chest mirror
melting into a delicious bouquet of the illusion
that I matter


You gave me an aluminum pot
with a wooden grip in the
middle of its wooden handle
And there’s a small metal
grip on one side to hold onto
while pouring
And most clever of all
there’s a little section of the
pot’s lid that’s perforated for
straining or releasing steam
and even these efficient
clustered holes have their
own hinged cover
Jesus– all in one pot

You tell me you have two
of these pots
You got this one
a long time ago
For my pasta and my potatoes
you tell me

You tell me you never had
such a nice pot
“They no maka them lika
thees no more”

You tell me one day this summer
I can help you clean
Who knows what we’ll find

Good Friday (for Mom)

My mother
faithful mother
anointed, sensitive

Encouraging mother
loving mother
taking me with her

Shepherding mother
complicated mother
fearing no evil, no shadow of death

Suffering mother
gifted mother
conflicted, compassionate

Generous mother
Mary’s daughter
Christ’s sister
My mother

Joannie is a published peot and a very dear freind. I am honored to share her work. These poems are in loving memory of her Mother, Valda Papalia and Mary Ann Eisert,  her mother in law. I thank you Joannie for sharing this day and your memories with my readers.  May The Beloved bless all the Mothers and Grandmothers that are no longer with us in this life.