by Andrew Calhoun (poem from Hay.)
My mother told me the eskimos
Had a couple hundred words for snow;
Turns out to be an old wives' tale.
She was trying to tell me something there, though,
About paying attention; about language.
Only so proper a mother can be,
Her first-born's will is fierce,
And sometimes her response will be in kind;
These lessons weave in,
Each day a solemn journey for the kid,
And the other kid, and the other kid,
And so much of herself poured into these times
Of which so little will be recalled.
That is our way.
So it is for the eskimo, also,
Even without the hundred words for snow.