What I Wouldn’t Call My Mother

If I should call my Mother a name,
It wouldn’t be Mommy
It would be Circle M because in Geometry class I was told
That a circle has an infinite number of points
Like Mother who doesn’t run out of points
Every time she doesn’t allow my choices
Or every time she thinks I keep on forgetting her advice
Or when we have opposing views about makeup and Sunday masses
And things like wearing fitted tops or short skirts
Points that sometimes just pass through my ears without thought
Whereas not a single one of my stories has not been engraved in her mind
There are times when I’ve already forgotten a heartbreak and moved on
But she hasn’t because my pain is not even half her pain

I wouldn’t call my Mother a Doctor
Because she does not treat my wounds
In fact, she lets me be wounded and comfortably watch how I treat them
No, it’s not the cut on my finger or the bruise on my knee
When I would cry after tripping or falling, she would smile
Knowing that I just realized how important it is to be careful
And watch things that may hurt you
Including your own foot which stepped on the cape you wore while playing Superhero

And no, I wouldn’t call my Mom a Superhero
Because she doesn’t save me
She won’t fight my battles for me
She always says I should face my own ghosts
I should lift my own luggage, dispose of my own trash,
Wash my own underwear
She is not a superhero
She doesn’t fly
She can just walk, crawl, carrying us in her back all along
Just to fill in our cups
Dragging her feet with worn-out slippers but wouldn’t stop
Until we reach the finish line

But even then I wouldn’t call my Mother a Marathon Finisher
Because her race never ends
She is there until the time I would tie the knot
She would tie my own gown for me
Like how she would lace my shoes when I was still too small
To figure out how to secure my feet
Even now, after more than two decades of existence,
I still haven’t figured that out
Or will I ever do

My Mother would say yes when my answer is no
And most of us, we don’t believe that mothers know best
Because she doesn’t even know how to turn on the WiFi settings on her phone
Or how to sign in her Facebook account
But hear this:
You should listen to your Mother not because she’s always right,
But because she has more experiences of being wrong

Mother, you are the best guide
But I wouldn’t call you a star because stars lie
Their light has left them long before it reaches my eyes
A shine that can’t be faker, dead stars, but you never are
You never fail to amaze me with the glow of your natural beauty
Those freckles and lines which serve as maps of places you’ve been
Marks that tell me it has not been a walk in the park raising me on this earth
But Mother, I wouldn’t call you a candle
Because your flame doesn’t die
And I don’t want to throw away all your sacrifices
Like how one throws away the melted wax
You are not a candle because your light is much bigger than that
Even in blackout, I feel safe
And in a storm, I feel warm

But Mother, I wouldn’t call you a blanket
You’ve done a lot for me and I don’t want you to be protecting me
While exposing your back to the cold
Let me be your blanket and close my arms around you this time
While my ears are open to hear your cries I know you don’t want me to hear
Because you want to be a pillar of success
But Mother I wouldn’t call you weak
You can cry now
For all the times you would prick your finger with your needles
When altering my clothes
For all the times you would lack sleep because you watch me at night
And would wake up early the next day because you want to buy me bread
For all the times you would teach me how to look with my eyes, not my mouth
But I would refuse to listen
For all the times I would hurt you and would never apologize
Cry now
I’ll hug you tighter


Listen to spoken word here:

No, Plead not

Plead not.
Kneel not.
Beg not.
But stare longer.
For I love your eyes
And what they say
That is not exactly what your words do.
I like your metaphors
Your analogies
Your asking me
Your chasing me
Your kidding me.
We both pretend
We have not given and gotten the yes.
Of course not exactly true.
We just want to stay longer
So we can.