Lorene Crittenden Thomas, mother and children,
L to R, Janell, Carol, Jack holding Jerry

This is another of my mother's "saved" poems.
It dates back to the 1930's when she and my Daddy, like many
other parents, were raising a family of four children
during The Great Depression. The times were very difficult
and there were no luxuries.

Precious Golden Grain
also known as
The Cry of the Mothers

by Lizzie Clark Hardy

My life is so narrow, so narrow,
Environed by four square walls;
And ever across my threshold
The shadow of duty falls.
My eyes wander off to the hilltops.
But ever my heart stoops down.
In a passion of love to my babies
That helplessly cling to my gown.

In the light of a new day dawning
I see an evangel stand;
And to fields that are ripe for harvest
I am lured by a beckoning hand.
But I have no place with the Reaper;
No part in the soul-stirring strife;
I must hover by babies on the hearthstone
And teach them the lessons of life.

I must answer their eager questions
With God-given words of truth;
I must guide them in ways of wisdom
Through childhood and early youth.
I must nourish their bodies
With infinite watchful care.
Take thought of the loaves and fishes,
And the raiment that they must wear.

But at night when lessons are over
And I cuddle each sleepy head;
When the questions are asked and answered
And the last little prayer is said;
When the fruitless unrest has vanished
That fretted my heart through the day,
Then I kneel in the midst of my children
And humbly and thankfully pray.
Dear Lord, when I stand with the reapers
Before Thee at the set of the Sun;
When the sheaves of the harvest are garnered,
And life and its labor is done,

I shall lay at Thy feet these children.
To my heart and my garments they cling,
I may not go forth with the reapers,
But these are the sheaves I shall bring.

This poem was first published in the "Toledo Blade,
June 10, 1915.

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My Mother