For My Daughter-in Law on Mother’s Day by Diane Pecoraro

In spite of the fact that mothers-in-law are stereotyped as pompous and evil, we shouldn’t disregard that they are firstly adoring and tender moms. Read how Diane Pecoraro worries about her daughter-in-law in our Sunday feather For My Daughter-in Law on Mother’s Day.

Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, featuring a weekly song or poem by a Minnesota writer.

Our guest editor for April is Wendy Brown-Baez

Click here to read Wendy Brown-Baez’s thoughts on how poetry groups provide inspiration and support during difficult times.

I first met Diane Pecoraro as the MC of an open mic in Saint Louis Park. The open mic was truly all about community: everyone showed up, all ages, genders, ethnic groups, and level of writing experience. As she states in her bio, she loves to play with words and images to produce a chuckle. “I want everyone to love poetry, to think about it in a different way, and to engage with it,” is how she put it. In her bio, she forgot to mention her participation in an exhibition through the Jewish Community Center, combining words and artwork. 

In Diane’s poem For My Daughter-in Law on Mother’s Day, I was struck by the mirror images of a mother and a daughter-in-law who is a mother. This poem refers to how the worry of mothers about their children then extends to all those they love.  The carelessness of the poet in the last line contrasts to the mother who averts her eyes. She already gave the warning to “run” from a bad relationship. How often are we watched over by the love of a mother who demonstrates that maternal act of balancing both fear and allowing, because in the end, we have to let our children make their own choices, while holding our breath that they will be okay? 

-Wendy Brown-Baez

For My Daughter-in Law on Mother’s Day
Diane Pecoraro

A mother for three years,
my daughter-in-law is immersed in love 
and worry, a familiar path of parents
lined on one side with when-to-catch, 
on the other with when-to-let-fall.

She wonders where her young son will fit,
fastens his defenses against dark forces real and imagined. 
This exquisite child―guard him from bullies and stones.
Keep him from snarling dogs.

Scrapes on my old knees worry her too,
not from a fall on pavement, 
but with a man who did some damage. 
“He’ll do it again,” she says when I tell her he is back.

She wants to offer me a sweater,  
insists on knee pads and helmet.
I picture her shaking a finger 
shouting, “No!” “Run!” “Be careful!”

At the window she stands and watches      
a moment before averting her eyes. 
I have ignored the flashing yellow light        
and entered the wide intersection 
without looking both ways.


Diane Pecoraro’s poems cover a variety of themes including landscapes, the creative process, immigrant issues and the quirky iridescent fragments of human relationships. Committed to play and humor, she often composes songs and rhymes for the sole (and quite serious) purpose of producing chuckles. Diane has been the Community Poet of St. Louis Park for twelve years. In this position she unites people around poetry, writes verse that reflects community themes and encourages a forum for diverse voices to be heard.

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