Listen to Your Mother

By Becky Rechnitzer

Art by Rachel Coyne

The raucous shout of mountains

The energetic bursts of rapids

When she lets you howl,

Listen to your Mother.

The goodnight whispers of tinajas

The gentle incantation of hooves

When she tells you to be quiet,

Listen to your Mother.

The renewing joy of blossoms

The passionate pulse of sunshine

When she teaches you to dance,

Listen to your Mother.

The ruining force of wind

The tearing jaw of cactus spines

When she tells you to be cautious,

Listen to your Mother.

The mingled songs of birds and branches

The wobbly spring legs of calves

When she awakens you to a new day,

Listen to your Mother.

The worn caverns of wrinkled hands,

The decaying renewal of sunset,

When she puts you to sleep at last,

Listen to your Mother.

To observe her

Is both a mandate and a gift.

To love her

Is a fealty within us all.

But to honor her

Is nothing more than the choice

To listen to your Mother.

Becky splits her time between the Big Bend and the big city of Houston, between science and literature, between her garden and world travel, between getting into trouble and getting out of it. You’ll usually find her laughing with friends and tequila, and if there’s music, she’ll be dancing.

Childhood travels with her bird-loving grandparents frequently brought Coyne to Big Bend. A life-long love of birds is reflected strongly in her works. Coyne is a painter and writer now living in Minnesota. Her books include Whiskey Heart, The Patron Saint of Lost Comfort Lake, and the YA series The Antigone Ravynn Chronicles.