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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree

Family

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Mother’s mission

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“It’s important to him,” said my mother at once,
when I said that my nephew’s affairs
were not nearly as pressing as help she could give
to her son, who had worthier cares.

Well, you spent your life giving us help, all you could,
and you never thought anyone less
just because they were under four feet or six years;
and to all of our wants you said “yes”.

Well I learned from you, mother, that lesson full well,
and I’m glad that I’ve done as you’d do;
for from that day to this, I’ll take heed of a child -
but what was important to you?


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