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Reflection

Alma Mater

By Mary Poindexter McLaughlin, '87

Illustration: Julia Breckenreid

No doubt she’s disappointed.

Such a disgrace I turned out to be.

Not a policy-maker
Or tech-savvy entrepreneur.
Nothing of note.

I gave birth three times
and sent three
tall, kind people
into the world

I offered words of consolation
I planted sunflowers
I listened

Elected official?
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist?
Cutting-edge thought-leader?
MD, PhD, CEO?
Oscar, Emmy, Tony?
Nobel?
Anything?

I closed my mother’s eyes
when she died
and again, my father’s

I made no fortune
no headlines
nothing went viral

I sang and danced
for no one

I remembered
I noticed
I breathed

Just an ordinary life
filled with extraordinary love.

How disappointing.

Comments (3)


  • Megan D. Schroeder, JD, M.S.W.

    This is absolutely beautiful and so poignant.  You are capturing what many of us feel -- have we done enough?  

    Posted by Megan D. Schroeder, JD, M.S.W. on Mar 21, 2018 10:07 AM

  • Mr. Isaac Lopez de la Vega

    Beautiful poem that many of us can relate to.

    Posted by Mr. Isaac Lopez de la Vega on Mar 21, 2018 11:16 AM

  • Mr. Mark Looi

    You wrote this poem, more than most can say!

    Posted by Mr. Mark Looi on Mar 21, 2018 12:19 PM

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