Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is by Amanda Coyne.  She is a nonfiction writer, and this podcast is a shorter version of a piece she had previously published.  Mother’s Day is about how Mother’s Day is celebrated in prisons, and about her personal experience visiting her sister in an Illinois prison.  Coyne informs that the number of female prisoners is rising, and 80 percent of the female inmates have children at home.  Most of the inmates are single mothers.  On Mother’s Day, the visiting rooms are packed with children gifting their mothers a single flower. A single flower and coins for the vending machine are all that is allowed in the Illinois prison.  Coyne brought her nephew to see his mother, Coyne’s sister. The visit was pleasant, but it caused her nephew to become angry.  Coyne’s nephew asked her if his mother is a “bad guy”.   Before answering, she explains her sister is a prisoner not because she was a drug dealer, but because she made only four phone calls for a man she loved.  With only four phone calls, Coyne’s sister received a five-year prison sentence. Coyne answered her nephew by saying that his mother is not a bad guy, but she had done a bad thing.   Her nephew explained that he wished he could do something bad so he could be in prison with her mother and not feel so angry all of the time. 

Mother’s Day made me think about the emotional hardships of prisoners.  I could not image being a single mother locked away from my child.  This podcast uses an emotional tone that makes the listening audience place themselves in the specific situation.  Mother’s Day is a day many people spend as a family to show their mothers love.  For inmates, Mother’s Day is a day to see your child and be gifted a single flower, while facing possible difficult moments, such as Coyne’s moment with her sister and her nephew.  The podcast makes individuals think about how different one universal day can be for others as well as the difficult conversations that may come.