Our mother knew our worth---
not much. To her, success
was not being noticed at all.
"If we can stay out of jail,"
she said, "God will be proud of us."
"Not worth a row of pins,"
she said, when we looked at the album:
Her hearing was bad, and that
was good: "None of us ever says much."
She sent us forth equipped
for our kind of world, a world of
our betters, in a nation so strong
its greatest claim is no boast,
its leaders telling us all, "Be proud"---
But over their shoulders, God and
our mother, signaling: "Ridiculous."
~ William Stafford
(huge h/t to Lance Mannion, who posted this...)