Celebrating the greatness of those we have or have had the blessing to call “Mother”. What does Motherhood mean to you?
You are a balancing act
of both splendor and sacrifice.
With grace, you usher in life-
giving and giving,
running dry but giving still.
Do you consider the act of pillaging and taking what is rightly yours?
Sometimes. I am sure.
And yet, within the arc of your back you carry the world
effortlessly and with the understanding
of a world that divided itself
before it could allow your healing to take root.
Counting your dreams, you offer them up and
sing sweet melodies
that have raised up the very vultures
that appear at midday and midnight –
a perfectly timed destruction.
I must still not understand and
somehow hope that we never will –
so we dream of whole selves that can fall
on occasion and
hand the bags to another
even for a short while.
Oh, Dear Mother.
Mother, now that we are separated by these large waters-
And by crackling fibre lines-
that sometimes transform your humming voice into unfamiliar muffles.
Now that we are separated-
I feel somehow unable.
You have never asked me to carry your burden
I feel heavy.
The weight of the unknown-
balances unsteadily above
It is only now-
that I realize
I have been navigating this world through
And Mother, I am ashamed to say-
that all this while
I secretly thought it was
who had needed me most.
Never truly acknowledging
now that my own lack of-
and is hastily demanded to
Mother, we are now separated-
by these man-made borders.
But separated still-
by so much more,
that I cannot-
You only ever taught me to love and to be true,
Assuring me that this was enough armor to meet the world with.
You prepared me to hope in the stars and pray to the winds.
You promised that faith could conquer all battles.
You made me understand the pain of others before my own.
You taught me to sooth the wounds on the backs of my foes.
You showed me that wisdom would always dwell in the rows of cornrows that lay upon my head.
You sang the hymns on the misery of wars un-fought.
You decorated my childhood with stories of the evils of men.
You taught me to be silent too soon and
The young boy who silently witnessed his mothers slaughter-
He sits at the edge of my bed and wails a most dreadful wail.
Their voices pierce through my borrowed peace.
Those lost children hovering, those motherless and fatherless.
They will seek revenge, this they have promised.
And the childless?
I saw the seeds of vengeance sprouting through the heart of one woman-
her infant torched before her eyes.
The father helpless to the greedy and violent lust over his beloved daughter-
He sits in the far corner, muttering the words of Socrates and Soyinka.
They seek me in the spirits of many midnights to open their heavy packages of sorrow-
The horrors their eyes have seen but their heart can never comprehend.
Their belief is that they are the forgotten peoples of a once great but crumbling nation.
Their haunted eyes, I wish I could erase-
But I cannot.