In honor of this Mother’s Day, I went back to Michael’s amazing and beautiful book “Dancing The Dream” for this poem dedicated to his mother Katherine.
People can say what they will about Katherine Jackson, but some things can’t be denied. Katherine is one tough lady-a woman who raised nine children, and buried two. When Michael was very little, she took a job at a department store in downtown Gary, Indiana to help feed and clothe her family. The job often required her to work late nights and to walk home through some of the worst Gary winters, late at night through some of the town’s worst neighborhoods, and in defiance of the town curfew that required all African-Americans to be off the downtown streets after 6pm.
She lovingly sewed by hand all of the bright, colorful, matching stage outfits that Michael and his brothers wore as The Jackson 5.
During Michael’s trial in 2005, she was there by his side every single day, even if it meant having to hear hideous lies about her son that no mother should ever have to endure.
At the Conrad Murray trial, she was once again there every day other than the week she was in Wales for the tribute concert, and once again having to sit through the most gruesome details of her son’s homicide and death.
Now in her 80’s, an age at which most women are either in nursing homes or peacefully enjoying their sunset years, she is raising Michael’s three children and setting for them the same example of strength that she did for their father.
A couple of lines that always stand out to me in this poem: One is the line that says, “You taught me how to stand and fight/for every single wrong and right.” Another is “From your being I was born.”
Michael, an amazing man, could not have been so without having been born from an amazing woman.
Mother by Michael Jackson
Eons of time I’ve been gestating
To take a form been hesitating
From the unmanifest this cosmic conception
On this earth a fantastic reception
And then one fateful August morn
From your being I was born
With tender love you nurtured a seed
To your own distress you paid no heed
Unmindful of any risk and danger
You decided upon this lonely stranger
Rainbows, clouds, the deep blue sky
Glittering birds that fly on high
Out of fragments you’ve made my whole
From the elements you fashioned my soul
Mother dear, you gave me life
Because of you, no struggle or strife
You gave me joy and position
Cared for me without condition
And if I ever change this world
It’s from the emotions you’ve unfurl’d
Your compassion is so sweet and dear
Your finest feelings I can hear
I can sense your faintest notion
The wondrous magic of your love potion
And now that I have come so far
Met with every king and czar
Encountered every color and creed
Of every passion, every greed
I go back to that starry night
With not a fear for muscle or might
You taught me how to stand and fight
For every single wrong and right
Every day without a hold
I will treasure what you’ve mold
I will remember every kiss
Your sweet words I’ll never miss
No matter where I go from here
You’re in my heart, my mother dear.