Gioconda Belli Writes on Nicaragua’s Mothers

“The Mother”

The mother
has changed her clothes.
The skirt has become pants,
the shoes, boots;
the purse, a backpack.
She’s not singing lullabies,
she’s singing songs of protest.
Her hair is matted, and she’s crying
for a love that surrounds and overcomes her.
She no longer loves only her own children,
nor gives herself only to her own children.
She has thousands of hungry mouths
pressed to her breasts.
She’s the mother of broken children,
of little boys spinning tops on dusty sidewalks.
She’s given birth to herself,
feeling, at times,
incapable of supporting so much love on her shoulders.
thinking about the fruit of her flesh,
so alone and far away,
calling for her in the night with no reply
while she responds to other cries,
many cries,
but thinking only of the lone shriek of her flesh
one more shriek in that uproar of the people
that calls to her
and tears even her own children
from her arms.

Gioconda Belli