(Poem) A Mother’s Day Proclamation by Mary Saracino

"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who
have heart, whether our baptism be that of water or

--Mother's Day Proclamation, Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

She couldn’t anticipate that we’d sip champagne at fancy brunches,

turn her fervor into a hallmark holiday

In the name of womanhood and of humanity

Julia Ward Howe set her soul upon a nobler task

We will not have our great questions decided by irrelevant agencies

Set her courage upon loftier aims

Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause

She spoke of blood and bone

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience

She invoked the language of the womb

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs

She sounded a clarion call for unity

I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limits of nationality may be appointed

Against all adversity, she audaciously sought to abolish war

to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international question,

She meant for all of us to mother the world

the great and general interests of peace.

She meant for us to mend our rivalries,

go to our rooms until we cooled off,

kiss and make up, the way she knew we could

if we’d just listen to our mothers


Walk for Peace


“A Mother’s Day Proclamation” was originally published at www.newsversenews.com on May 11, 2008.


Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet, and memoir-writer who lives in Denver, CO. Her newest novel, Heretics, is forthcoming from Pearlsong Press in 2014. The anthology she co-edited, She Is Everywhere! Volume 3 (iUniverse 2012) earned the 2013 Enheduanna Award for Excellence in Women-Centered Literature. Her novel, The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. Her short story, “Vicky’s Secret” earned the 2007 Glass Woman Prize.

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2 Comments on "(Poem) A Mother’s Day Proclamation by Mary Saracino"

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Donna Snyder
Donna Snyder

What a stimulating and inspiring piece of history. Thank you!

Glenys D. Livingstone

good one Mary! 🙂