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A mother’s life journey –

a climb, a struggle, riddled with hardships

yet moving in a positive direction,

up life’s staircase of challenges.

Never turning back, never standing still

always moving forward … up.

A mother reminds her child, her son

that though the journey may oft times be

one of travail –

keep moving along … up.

A mother is

a teacher, a guide, an example to follow

one who helps her children

navigate life,

which is in most instances

anything but a smooth path up –

a silver staircase


Mother to Son

By Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.


James Mercer Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

Poet.  Playwright.  Novelist.  Columnist.

innovator of ‘jazz poetry’

leader of the Harlem Renaissance


Recitation 1:  a woman gives an emotive reading

Recitation 2:  by the poet himself, Langston Hughes