Poem: Mama.

Mama is not just about my mother.

It is part-social-commentary, part-love-poem, from the perspective of a young daughter (me) on ageing. It highlights how a daughter’s love goes beyond appearances, which I hope many people can relate to.

This poem was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 11, 2019.


I hate the way
My mom looks in the mirror
And wishes that her belly
Was like mine a little more.

I hate the way
My mom looks at pictures of her
And thinks that her arms
Are as large as the supersized crisp bag from the pantry.

I hate the way
My mom reads those articles
That scrutinize every detail of an older woman’s body
As if they had a magnifying glass into her life.

I hate the way
my mom hates her body
Because
She is deeper than a magazine cover.
She is more than what others think of her.

My mother shouldn’t have to look at the mirror and say,
“I don’t want my body this way,”
Because mama, mama,
You are more than just legs, hips and arms.

You are the bright laugh to a corny joke,
Each ripple of your vocal cords,
Is more comforting than any symphony.

You are the first person to be concerned,
To be the Betadine for an emotional wound,
To be the first steps to doing better.

You are the hardest worker I know,
Having literally come from humble rice fields,
To the top floor of a skyscraper.

You are the reacher of stars,
You want to capture as many of them inside your hands,
And give me galaxies.

So please remember
There is not one day
That I do not wish for you
To see yourself in this way.
You are worth more than what the tabloids say,
Mama. I love you.

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