To those mothers: A poem for International Women's Day

International Women's Day

Muna Abdi is a Burngreave resident who has written this poem “To those Mothers …” for International Women's Day on 8th March.

To those mothers who buttered sandwiches
and lit loves lanterns when
sweet dreams turned into nightmares -
... and cloaked us in radiant safety net bear hugs under covers and
sacrificed many a-night sleep like a coat over a puddle so our pillows stayed dry
and evaporated tears when we would cry, and
smiled at the clouds till they bowed gracefully to a blue sky
and answered all the times we asked, "why?"

To all those mothers who allowed faces to hide in trouser legs
when we were shy
from strangers or neighbours or distant
family members who just wanted to say, "hi"
and who explained with true amazement
the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly

To those mothers who buttered sandwiches,
and read books... over.. and over... and over again.
but when that, "please, mum, please" eyes plead mouth squeezed chubby cheeks… gapped teeth
her heart melts and she reads....
just one more time.
and those words become sweet in her mouth because that warm
ball of innocent trust in her
curls up on her shoulder and she knows no sound sweeter than hearing you breathe.
and when the breathing gets deep ... she looks deep into that glowing innocence and her heart weeps with overwhelming mercy-
for she is accessing the most powerful feeling a human being can experience.

unconditional mercy... compassionate love.
true selfless, gentle, nurturing, life giving, soul cleansing, spirit raising,

For all those mothers who buttered sandwiches
and taught young boys in a society so sick and deprived of Love- to Love
and young girls to find Love deep within themselves
and watered seeds to full flown flowers unfolding petals gracefully in concrete habitats
and old rusty ramshackle shacks in any desert or countryside anywhere and everywhere that mothers ...
butter sandwiches
or split coconuts, or make curries, or milk goats,
or steam rice, or warm bottles on stoves, or microwaves,
or hang clothes on lines in the sunshine

This is for those mothers ...
Who go to sleep last
making school lunches
and wake up first making breakfast and assembling outfits
who struggle and strain and bear the pain and don't complain...
but smile.

This is for mothers
who had to be fathers...
and mothers....
and had to hide tears because there was no time for her own
when she was wiping away everyone else's

This is for mothers... who never knew selfish
and never felt they deserved a congratulations, or a celebration, or a high station, or a standing ovation
but you do....
all of you.

And this is for mothers who bore abuse...
both physical and mental... from men who...
had mothers too... who raised them like you
but forgot what you taught...
and this is my pledge.
I promise I will not. ever. forget.

For every woman is a potential mother ... and is a daughter who was an innocent ball of trust
who was held by a mother
who buttered sandwiches...
if she was lucky.
and if not, all the more reason to treat her
like a mother would treat her....
who loved her
and buttered sandwiches.

And this is for my mother.
the one I owe love to.
because you are the one I know love through.
you are the closest thing I've ever known to pure love.
to sincere over-whelming, overpowering, unconditional love
flowing from your heart through your eyes when you look at me.
I owe who I am to you
and it is such an understatement to say ...
but it is the most powerful thing language can display....
I love you.
I love you.
I love you.

Muna Abdi

International Women's Day Celebration
The annual celebration event is to be held again at Verdon Recreation Centre on Verdon St

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The content on this page was added to the website by Douglas Johnson on 2012-03-07 21:32:54.
The content of the page was last modified by Lisa Swift on 2012-03-11 21:57:00.

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