Mother: a Poem

My mother embraces me when I least expect it,

and pushes me offthe edge of the cliff

when I need it the most.


When I try to run away from her,

she extends her sturdy arms

and clasps me like an eagle,

not to tear my freshly grown wings apart

but

to remind me,

to whisper in my ear,

that no matter where I go, she will be

here

standing strong,

spirit high,

in the middle of the sea

waiting for me,

to return to her.


My mother will make me food

and shine bright on my face to nourish my skin,

to nurture my big brown freckles,

to put a smile on my face.


She will give food to flowers,

my grandma’s favourite roses,

to bring a sense of joy,

to accommodate my sisters’ souls,

to watch my tears of joy roll down my big cheeks

as I smile the biggest smile of all.


I stretch my spine,

make it tall

stand proudly as I exhale my

/t͡ʃ/, /ʃ/, /t͡s/

sounds whose cherished roots

have been holding me attached

to mylittle portion of earth

which raised me with such caution and grace


She brought up my best friend

Shefermented people

to come, to go, to stay for a while,

to promise to stay forever, to stay forever or

to disappear and never be found again.


She sowed seeds of friendships

and watched them grow,

she watered young lovers holding hands

and watched their stems grow long

flowers growing from their heads;

the voice of a newborn baby

being heard loud and clear.


Her body has suffered immensely;

bruises all over her skin,

her long legs scratched and her arms dusty.

She can welcome you, console you, and love you

in a myriad of languages


She sees you and she hears you

as you lie awake, late at night

tears running down your pink cheeks


She sees you and she hears you

as you sit around a table with your friends,

postponing the sunrise just a bit longer

for you to have a few more moments

of this youth that is running low


In the morning, the sun shines brighter

the birds chirp louder

and the wind blows lighter on your skin

for you and her children.


She shines the sun brighter for all the people she raised

For her children

Even for those that hurt you,

For your best friend,

your lovers, your former lovers and your crushes,

your neighbour that sleeps in an empty bed at night,

that one person you can’t stand but can’t live without,

the deceased and the diseased.

For hundreds of her kids that you haven’t found yet

And perhaps for you too

You, which you have yet to find


Words and artwork by Aria Aristotelous

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