Poetry Archive

When I Think of my Mother

I love my mother
I will love her forever I think.
She is the only - mostly the first not the only, but what difference does it make 
She is the only (first) woman to be love and pain and 
Discipline and fun and wonder and knowledge to me.
For me, she was once life or death
And every time she chose me, life for me, life with me
I can’t help but love her for that

She was the woman who taught me to love myself.
My skin. My mind. To celebrate all that made me, me.
Because she celebrated all in her.
She taught me to love my blackness
“it’s brown” she said “because it is the colour of 
The earth and my skin”
The first poet
For that, I’m grateful beyond repair
She is love
In every way, with hugs and kisses
With meals and cups of tea
With smiles and frowns
The love of something deep, strong, true
To give and to love. Me, my blackness, all I could be
She was, always,
The first woman to do that for me

She shares herself  with me,
Stories of her as a sister, playing, silly, a kid
And the fondness of her dreams, of a floral shop and pretty crystals, and to have her locs back flowing and long, a daydreamer
Histories of her mother and father, and her and my dad,
Uncles, aunties, grandmas and friends, boyfriends, a someone to someone else, a her without me
Philosophies of her own explorations, an art history of Pablo Picasso, and the ideals of Shona Traditional Spirituality and the intricacies of gender/class/race in modern society,
Her mind that knows more, wants to know more
And that is the real blessing
Seeing the world with her,
Knowing I’m even just a piece of her life as she is mine

Yes, I really do love her.
And she’s not perfect
Not to me.
I know the sting of a whisper, the pinch of a sharp 
word From her
I’ve seen anger and jealousy and spite enough
	And humanly so, enough to make me mark them out
	To note them down
	And reject them, for their ugliness
I have been harsh and cruel to someone, her, many times
And this is true,
This is all her.
But I can’t shy away from it. The sore spots that came alongside the rosy memories.

Because my mother is a person.
Sometimes, most times, a stranger to me
Someone chosen to be my life or death.
Chosen to chose me.
Cursed with having to know me
Cursing me to sprend evey day after, getting to know her
To find love or security or joy in her
	To create an ‘us’, my mother and i
She was someone before me
She’ll be someone after me
And she’s someone in spite of me

A whole person
This, she will never let met forget.
“why must you know how old I am? What 
does it mean to you?”
nothing, because you’d still be my mother
with or without me knowing.
Absolutely nothing, because you deserve
A privacy from me. A you untouched by me.
To have a other who is a whole person,
Not many get that, I think
And for that I am thankful to her
She showed what womanhood - personhood
Could be like
Unapologetic and imperfect
She demands to be recognised as whole
	For me to see her as whole.
An outsider to ‘mum’

So, yes.
	I love my mother.
The woman who is my mother, I love.
I love her because she loves me. 
I love her because she loves herself. 

Image by Jackie Parker

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Danielle Ncube is a young Black British writer interested in the socio-political and the emotional in life. Her work explores the intersectionality and diversity in lived experiences around her.