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If I Had a Mother: A Mother's Day Poem

Don't scatter roses, so the song goes.

My mother's grave has long been cold and hard

And life's victories now hollow without her


If I had a mother,

I would savour the sound of her footsteps,

clobbering our cobra-waxed floors.

I would run towards her

And not scamper to my room,

I would take the time

really take the time

to soak up every sound

For no song has since trumped her humming and chiming

or her traipsing and buoyant gait.

If I had a mother

I would rub her weary feet, pop her blisters

And pour soothing oil on her bruised knuckles

and the cracks of her heels,

Until what’s left is nothing but chuckles.

I would take the time

really take the time

to ease her pain

For every fold, bump, and crevice harboured a fragile strength

If I had a mother

I would swallow her insipid grits.

And gobble her dull collard greens.

I would not whine or spew

But take the time

Really take the time

to savour each helping

For in every potion was a testament to steadfast love.

If I had a mother

I would gaze into her glassy eyes

Listen to the lilt in her voice.

And trace the contours of her jaw

I would take the time

really take the time

To see the tears behind her smile

For behind every expression

lay a hidden shrine in which her story was interred.

If I had a mother

I would bear testimony,

To her unwavering love

And not whisper words of regret

on her silent grave

I would take the time.

Really take the time.

To savour every moment,

For life, as I’ve learned, is all but fleeting.

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Mar 22, 2023

I am a puddle of tears. This poem is so moving and deep. I read it at least four times just to let it truly sink in. My mother is still here but she has far too few years left with us. Thank you so much for sharing!

Bertha Mukodzani
Bertha Mukodzani
Mar 26, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much 💓

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