The Question and Answer section for Langston Hughes: Poems is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
In the poem, Mother to Son, we can infer that splinters are meant to mean hard times or rough spots in life.
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no...
Check this out:
In “Mother to Son,” a mother tells her son that her life has not been easy but she has always kept going. She does not want him to give up or turn back because she is still climbing the stairs.