Mother Always Said

By Wayland Jackson

Always wear clean underwear.
If you had an accident and went to a hospital,
what would they think of our family?

You can’t get blood out of a turnip.
If someone owes you, and he cannot pay, then he cannot pay.

It’s okay to remove a non-bearing wall.
She removed a wall in every house we ever occupied,
including a wall of prejudice.

Always tell the truth.
If you lie, you have to remember what you said.
If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to think about it.

There’s a lost sheep in the wilderness,
a shut-in, a blind neighbor, an older citizen. Tend the sheep; ask nothing in return.

We live in hope and die in despair.
Life’s pains will someday over take us, but we are hopeful to the end.

Never love something that can’t love you back.
Don’t love money, fame, power, position,
art, music, literature, travel, or adventure.
Love your wife, love your husband,
your parents, your children,
and your neighbors.

That’s what Mother always said.