The youthful man wanted to make it on his own. So he packed and left his mom and home. Off he sought his fortune in a grand new life -- Willing to stand up and work through the strife. He settled for a time in an a dingy flat Happy alone with just his cat: He was happy, independent and employed, Feeling strong, free, and buoyed. One day, a wrapped gift arrived at his door: Its alluring beauty sat there on the floor -- Waiting for him to return from his duties And discover its hidden beauties. But when he came home, he saw it and knew From whom it came and felt so blue: From his mom, he could tell, it came. And feared that on him she had a claim. If he opened it, he would have debts; He would be caught in love's many nets -- A thank you at least; maybe a phone call, Or maybe a gift for her, however small. So he left it wrapped and on a table. There it sat through times he was stable. He'd sense it there, now and then, But never dared to feel its yen. In time he moved and left it behind To marry and a new life to find. He was joyous in his new abode, With his lover and working load. Once again, though, a gift was placed At his door beautifully encased. Once again, though, he left it alone On the table unopened, disowned. Then, his efforts to make it work Failed and his life became a murk: Home lost, wife gone, life unhinged, He could only look back and cringe. Yet again, a gift -- so like the others -- Appeared at his doorstep from his mother: Now, though, he picked it up and held it And realized that he could smell it: An aroma of memories and appetite: Yeasty, nourishing, somehow full of light. He opened it and found the bread On which so many, so often had fed. Now he heard its message of grace: I am free in every time and place; Yet costly, for once I am eaten, With mine and yours you are ever sweeten. He knew it was time for calling -- With some regrets for stalling: "Hi mom, I've opened your gift; It's great and gave me quite a lift." "I thought it would give you heart And hope you will have a new start. I am here always in your need; Remember that in your every deed." Our youthful man, now turned, not to home, And not away from a life to roam: But towards the embrace and care Of neighbors what ever they may dare. For the best things in life are surely free -- But if we are to join their jubilee, We must let go and hear Love's cry: Just follow me and be my ally.
©2001, John A. Mills