Yesterday would have been my mom’s 71st birthday – and by strange coincidence, I discovered, for the first time, that poet Billy Collins shares the same birthday. I sent Collins’ poem, “The Lanyard,” inside the last Mother’s Day card I ever sent, and I read it at my mother’s funeral. Seemed fitting, given that the poem is funny (which my mom would have appreciated at her funeral) and says something very true: any meager attempt we might make to say “thank you” to our mothers will fall laughably short.
Here’s Collins reading the poem. Happy birthday, Mom – and Billy.