The Lanyard by Billy Collins

http://home.cinci.rr.com/iwishiwerebuffy/poetry.htm

A few lines here...

She nursed me in many a sick room, 
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips, 
set cold facecloths on my forehead 
then led me out into the airy light 
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard. 
"Here are thousands of meals" she said, 
"and here is clothing and a good education." 
"And here is your lanyard," I replied, 
"which I made with a little help from a counselor." 
"Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, 
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world." she whispered. 
"And here," I said, "is the lanyard I made at camp." 
"And here," I wish to say to her now, 
"is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth, 
that you can never repay your mother, 
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands, 
I was as sure as a boy could be 
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom 
would be enough to make us even