A Mother’s Mark

I’ve got a good mother.

Her voice is what I hold dear.

In her eyes, I see something near.


It’s said that mothers are home builders. That’s inherently limiting and not nearly reflective enough of a mother’s role and value.

Life can be chaotic — jobs, pain, hopes, kids, grief, everything in between and outside of that.

Amidst this chaos — what we call life — mothers have always been expected to build homes. Minds have opened and roles have changed, but societies from the distant past until now, archaic though some of them may be, have told us this is how it is. It’s nature, so they say. It’s nurture, so she gives.

It’s a fact that mothers are more than this (patriarchal) rigidity.

Mothers are women. Mothers are foundations. Mothers are sensitive. Mothers are strong. Mothers are vital. Mothers are moon and mothers are sun. Mothers are imperfect. Mothers are superheroes. Mothers are human beings.

They don’t just build homes, they build children, families, us. All while building themselves.

A mother’s mark is in this building, and this building is a monument.

A mother’s mark is in the way her offspring treat and view the world.

Mothers are like spring, providing an environment for their children to blossom and unfurl.

We are reflections of our mothers, and we are lucky for this.

We are protected by our mothers, and we are lucky for this.

A mother is a teacher. A guide. A friend. A lawmaker. A judge. An occasional executioner.

A mother’s mark is in the way that we cope. It’s how we understand hope.

A mother’s mark is constant, a force while she’s present, an even bigger one when she’s absent.

The mark of a mother is something I don’t think I’ll ever fully comprehend.

Mothers live. The luckiest of us have them for a long time.

Mothers also die. Yet a mother’s spirit, power, influence, and place in our memories never does.

I’m not sure about God. But I’m sure about grace, humility, compassion, dignity, and love. Why? Because I’ve seen these things in my mother.

If every word I said for the rest of my life was thank you, it still wouldn’t suffice, the debt I owe her would remain unpaid. Such is a mother’s mark.

Whatever good I am, I am because of my mother.

I’ve got a good one.

Her love is what I hold dear.


This piece is dedicated to all mothers, and to my mother, Christa Gampp.


Christa and Paco Gampp.

Machinist, Machination, Machine


Automatic recon.

Dropped baton,

at fluid metal dawn.


Boca Raton.

Ultra Boca Raton.

Chopped the lawn,

with a static yawn.


Missed connections,

systems of cables.

Mass collections,

a flurry of babels.


At attention,

confused by the labels.

Passed retention,

horses leaving the stable.



Supersonic, the how.


more channels, right now.



Ultra Kraków.

More milk, browner cows,

less ink, sadder clowns.



with extra incentives.


for added inventions.



with a plug-in heart.


circles back to the start.