Saturday, 13 March 2021

If I Had A Mother - A Poem For Mother's Day

Don’t scatter roses, so the song goes.

I do not mean to rain on your parade

And I don't doubt your merits as a daughter or son

All I’m saying is,

If I had a mother.

Her grave has long been cold and hard.

Life’s pitted terrain nothing but a cliché.

My victories hollow without her.


If I had a mother,

I would savour the sound of her footsteps,

clobbering our cobra waxed floors.

Run towards her

And not scamper to my room,

to avoid her incessant stories

About the women at the marketplace

For no song trumped the rhythm of her traipsing,

and airy, wishful gait.


If I had a mother

I would rub her weary flesh after a blistering day at the market.

Really take the time to pop her blisters.

Observe every crack of her heels,

Pour soothing oil on her bruised knuckles.

And iron the creases on her forehead,

Until what’s left is nothing but cackles.


If I had a mother

I would swallow her insipid grits.

And gobble her dull collard greens.

Munch every crumb of her greasy buns

For every serving was a testament to steadfast love


If I had a mother

I would gaze into her glassy eyes

Trace the contours of her jaw

Really understand the arch of her mouth.

And every smile behind her tears,

For that is the shrine in which she interred her story and mine.


If I had a mother

I would not wail so loud,

The birds would scramble from their trees.

I would not bear testimony,

To the adulation of my kindred and strangers alike

Instead, I would take the time.

Really take the time.

Because life, as we've learned, is all but fleeting.