Summary: The persona in this poem is telling the story of a mother who loved her son. The mother became aware of the child's presence when she experienced morning sickness. She placed all her hopes in the child and raised him as a single parent because his father was indifferent to the child's existence. The mother had set no barriers on what the child could become, but he grows up to work for some criminal who drags him into a war and gives him a firearm. The son tells his mother that his employer is like a father to him, but the mother wonders at the father figure who purposefully endangers his child. She prepares for her son's death by going downtown to buy funeral apparel. The mother feels powerless, so she prays for her child and says protective psalms for him. On the other hand, she reads psalms of retribution for the employer and weeps for her son. Her situation does not look good and is likened to a partner system in which she draws both the first and the last hand. Genre: Narrative
Structure:The poem is written in Free Verse and consists of six unrhymed octets. It follows no specific meter. Themes: Categories: Death, Love, Survival, Dreams, Childhood Experiences, Religion * Love: a mother’s love for her son and her hope that he succeeds in life.
* Importance of Father Figures – the poem explores the importance of father figures in the upbringing of children. Mothers cannot father sons; the role is tailored for men. This is shown when the son finds a man who seems to ‘value’ him. Being appreciated by a woman is not the same for a boy as being respected by a man. Gaining respect from a masculine figure imbues a sense of manliness into a boy. Hence the son is vulnerable to being fooled and used by a man who pretends to care for him, and this is the situation with many young gang members today.
* Power of Prayer: the poem shows the woman’s trust in God and her belief in prayer....