A Poem For Mother's Day
Billy Collins: This is a . . . this is a poem about a small, trivial thing that is . . . I’m kind of using to access a bigger topic. It’s about something that children do in the summertime. It’s called “The Lanyard”.“The other day as I was ricocheting slowly off the pail, blue walls of this room, bouncing from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, I found myself in the “L” section of the dictionary where my eyes fell upon the word “lanyard”. No cookie nibbled by a French novelist could send one more suddenly into the past – the past where I sat at a work bench at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake learning how to braid thin plastic strips into a lanyard, a gift for my mother. I had never seen anyone use a lanyard, or wear one if that’s what you did with them. But that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand, again and again, until I had made a boxy, red and white lanyard for my mother. She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her a lanyard. She nursed me in many a sickroom, lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips, set cold facecloths on my forehead, and then led me out into the airy light and taught me to walk and swim. And I in turn presented her with a lanyard.“Here are thousands of meals,” she said, “and here is clothing and a good education.”“And here is your lanyard,” I replied, which I made with a little help from a counselor. “Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, strong legs, bones and teeth, and two clear eyes to read the world,” she whispered.“And here,” I said, “is the lanyard I made at camp.”And here, I wish to say to her now, is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth that you can never repay your mother, but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands, I was as sure as a boy could be that this useless, worthless thing I wove out of boredom would be enough to make us even.”
A gift from Billy Collins
Is everyone's favorite Thanksgiving centerpiece really to blame for the post-dinner doldrums?
- Americans kill around 45 million turkeys every year in preparation for the Thanksgiving meal, only to blame our favorite centerpiece for the following food comas.
- Rumor has it our after-dinner sleepiness results from the tryptophan found in turkey.
- However, it is the meal's overall nutritional imbalance, not just the tryptophan, that make us want to leave the dishes for tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.
- The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
- He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
- Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
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