What Shall We Give, Mother?


“What Shall We Give, Mother?”

I’d heard your voice,

breaking through several realms,

calling me forth to you,

to the coziness of your bosom. 

It is the wake-up call,

today and everyday,

a gentle nudge,

calling forth remembrance.


What shall we give?

What price will be appropriate,

as recompense, for your gift of love?

How often did you stare death in the face,

helpless me safely tucked in, in your womb,

your mortal body willing sacrificial lamb,

for the survival of a yet formless me?

How many times did you go hungry,

forfeit your dreams, needs, and desires,

so I can find nourishment, and fulfillment,

in a cruel world of rampaging storms?

What shall we give to you, mother?

What price will be appropriate, Queen? For your lifetime of love and sacrifices

—Nnaemeka Oruh