Have you ever seen any photos of your parents when they were younger? Did they look like you?

Not Yet My Mother

by Owen Sheers


Yesterday I found a photo
of you at seventeen,
holding a horse and smiling,
not yet my mother.

The tight riding hat hid your hair,
and your legs were still the long shins of a boy's.
You held the horse by the halter,
your hand a fist under its huge jaw.

The blown trees were still in the background
and the sky was grained by the old film stock,
but what caught me was your face,
which was mine.

And I thought, just for a second, that you were me.
But then I saw the woman's jacket,
nipped at the waist, the ballooned jodhpurs,
and of course the date, scratched in the corner.

All of which told me again,
that this was you at seventeen, holding a horse
and smiling, not yet my mother,
although I was clearly already your child.

Copyright © 2005 Owen Sheers. Reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers,
Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN

This poem was selected as part of the BritLit project. To find out more about BritLit visit our TeachingEnglish site.

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Have you ever seen photos of your parents when they were younger? Did they look like you?


brusselssprouts's picture
brusselssprouts 9 July, 2019 - 14:02

Yes, I saw. I'm not similar to my parents and we've got different characters. Sometimes i joke about i was switched at birth :P But i look like my dad's mum, my grandma, so i know that there wasn't mistake at the hospital :P :P

1 user has voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 26 September, 2015 - 13:37

My mother said that I was much more beautiful than her. ( I am just kidding. But my mother is said to be a beautiful woman. I look like my mother. Do you know what this mean? aha ( just kidding)

1 user has voted.
patchyplum's picture
patchyplum 7 January, 2015 - 14:01

Yeah I have seen a lot and I have a photo of my mum and my uncle when they were small and they look just the same like me.I have a smile like my father's and voice,facecuts just like my mother almost too same and many get easily fooled!Pretty more than once my friend said aunty to me thinking it was my mum..

1 user has voted.
Negar1995's picture
Negar1995 6 August, 2014 - 15:07

i think i look like my mother but my relatives say that i look like my father!!! i dont know...!!

1 user has voted.
Ashley1412's picture
Ashley1412 1 August, 2017 - 03:09

Aha....Me 2!!!
we are the same.....
Athough I'm a girl,I takes after my Dad.Quiet a lot!!
It's weird, but quite interesting.

0 users have voted.
SandraB's picture
SandraB 28 November, 2013 - 21:18

I have seen a lot of photos of my dad when he was young,but I have seen just a few pictures of my mother.She wasn't really keen on taking photos tho I look a lot like my father,but nothing like my mother.People would never say that she is the woman that gave birth to me.

0 users have voted.
WildChild's picture
WildChild 1 August, 2013 - 14:12

Yes , I have seen some photos of my parents and I don't look like them at all. I look like my grandma when she was young. :)

0 users have voted.
KLEA B's picture
KLEA B 31 July, 2013 - 11:27

Yeah i have seen my parent's pictures and i look just like them but a bit more like my father

0 users have voted.
Toma English's picture
Toma English 30 July, 2013 - 21:59

yeah yeaah we have many photos of my parents ^_^
everybody tells me that I look like my father (or father's family "aunts-Grandma") ,but we have a picture of my mother ,, She was ME!! :D ,,, and the same with my brother , everybody tells him that he looks like our mom (mom's family) , but we have a photo of Dad ,,, He Was my Brother! :D

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hayaalhams's picture
hayaalhams 19 June, 2013 - 10:29

yes i saw one picture to my dad & other one to my mum .. they wasn't look like me .. my mum in the picyure was in her house garden .. & my dad was studying .. they was relly nic in the pictures

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onedirectionlover2002's picture
onedirectionlov... 19 May, 2013 - 09:28

I saw my mum's picture yesterday. She was fifteen and was holding a cup, she was the captain of her crikect team at school and her team was around her. the picture looked like a real cricket team had won. My mum's blonde hair, flface and was wearing ew in the air. She had a winning grin on her blue cricket dress for her team name was Blue Bashers.

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sd.ss's picture
sd.ss 21 April, 2013 - 19:25

I saw many times even I also saw a photo when my father was a baby bt they don't look like me lols

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 28 March, 2013 - 22:49

I take after my father I´m a female version of him,I even walk like him,we have the same character and we both named the same and even more incredible our birthday is in the same month just one day of difference He tells me I´m his birthday present!

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 25 March, 2013 - 15:00

I look almost the same like my father's grandmother. I couldn't believe! We have the same hair, the same eyes, the same look, face, everything... Even I wear the same hairstyle like her. Once one friend of mine thought it was me on the photo, and it was my grandmother. She was beautiful and gorgeous, so I don't regret at all of being like her.

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 25 March, 2013 - 14:57

Yes, I saw. I don't look like my father at all, and mother-well, she has a similar smile and eyes, but I still find myself different to her.
I like to be unique and to not resemble of any of them.

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 18 February, 2013 - 10:37

Hi everyone. I really like this poem and I was really interested to read all your comments on this subject. I realise as time goes by that I look not only like my mother, but also like both of my grandmas! I see photos of myself and see similarities with old photos of my dad's mum, who I never really met. When I was younger I didn't like the idea of looking like my granny, but now I think it's nice to have that link with my past, and my family history. Who do you resemble in your family? Do you like looking like them?

Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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