A poem for my parents

Was it their strength that made me grow,
their struggle that made me reach for the stars,
their love that made me caring?
Was it their support that made me challenge life?
their care that made me beautiful?
their presence that made my life shine?
Was it their tears that made me powerful?
All this they gave me, I don’t know how to give back.

Nine months, my mother kept me in her womb,
She held me when I felt scared and broken.
My father combed my hair,
held my school bag so my back wouldn’t hurt.
They taught me our traditions, our culture, life.
And struggled to find me the right man.

I lay in the hospital bed to have my first baby.
My mother beside me holds my hand.
Her single tear made me die a little inside for her,
But her hands still held me tight.
She mumbled holy verses, prayed for me.
And I watched her.


I delivered my child. My father opened his arms,
Congratulated me. He looked at my child,
His eyes small and shadowed,
And said, “What a lovely baby.
I wish her all the happiness.”

And now, in the home of my husband,
I miss my mother and father so much.
My father calls. “How are you, Baby?”

I feel tears when he asks this.
I am a mother now.

By Pakiza

photo: Peter Biro