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What do you see when you sit down beside the woman who’s there next to you?
Do you see the clothing that’s tired and old, the hair that is grey, white or blue?
Look deeper, look down to the inside, past the layers she puts on each day
Look deep in her eyes ‘til you see to her soul, on the inside where she hides away

Stripped down to the bare essentials, to the person who lives in her heart
She is fragile she’s soft and she’s gentle, a lover of music and art
She’s a shy little girl from the country, plain and simple yet unashamed
She loves flowers and birds and bees, her animals free and untamed

She’s a poet, a greenie, a mother – she’s never been scared of hard work
She’ll get down and dirty like you do – the toughest of tasks she’ll not shirk
She’s gen’rous when anyone needs her, with her wisdom, her time or her ear
She’ll listen to you when you need to talk, she’ll tell you what you need to hear

She’s a lover of truth and of goodness, a champion of those down and out
She’s compassionate, kind, empathetic – a hero of mine there’s no doubt
‘Neath the costumes she wears on the outside, the faces she’d rather show you
She’s vulnerable unprotected, so sometimes she’s sad and she’s blue

She’s defenceless ‘gainst cunning and guile, innocent, naïve as a child
Too trusting and meek to be left alone in the city so evil and wild
When she sees all the fighting and warring that goes on around all the world
She longs for the peace and the quiet she knew back when she was a girl

For the long sunny days in the country, the creek where the wind used to blow
Thru her curls as she sat or she swung on a vine, time passed by her going slow
The clean fresh dry air of the outback, bearing wattle and gum blossom smells
When safety was walking in bushland, kicking dust up – the tales she tells

Of the pranks that they pulled, the wood that they chopped, the fire they set for the night
Of the tales, tall and true, the words that they knew of the songs and the poems learned just right
Of laughter that rang in the night time, the giggles she heard in return
For the simpler days of her childhood, for her family her heart it does burn

She’s naked under her clothes, you know, bare as the day she was born
But her skin’s not so soft or so clear now, in fact it is wrinkled and worn
 Don’t forget in the worry and haste of this world we now live in – she’s tried and she’s rue
The unvarnished truth, do you dare to admit she’s your mother, she’s me – is she you?

Zoe Younger © 2007