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
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 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