Thank You Poem for Mom by MaryJeanMenintigar

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									"A poem in commemoration of Women's Parliament" - 29 August 2007:
by Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, Chairperson of the National Council
of Provinces.


Mother, children are like arrows in a hunter’s bag
Mother, it was painful when you delivered me to this earth
You suffered birth pangs, but they subsided
And your body recovered

When you heard my first cry

You smiled to yourself and experienced joy in your heart -
Knowing that you had conquered the birth pangs
You said to yourself: I have achieved my Freedom.
My body and my soul are rejoicing

I have reveled in the warmth of your hands
I have relished the warm milk of your breasts
I have cherished the warmth of your back
I have rested on your warm chest

There I was - on your back
With wood or water on your head
Your back never tired of carrying me

While your hands were hoeing the fields,
Grinding the corn so that the family could eat
There you were - brewing beer for the men to drink
And building mud huts

Then came the heroines such as Lillian Ngoyi, Charlotte Maxeke, Ruth First,
Helen Joseph, and others,
Who said: We are going right inside the Union Buildings!
And Freedom was born.

You suffered anew the birth pangs when your children were incarcerated in
apartheid prisons
Gunfire reverberating day and night -
your children’s blood flowing like streams in the streets
And yet you replied: Backwards never!
Forward ever!
And the new South Africa was born

Thank you, Mothers
Stop crying - wipe away your tears
Nurture this child
Feed this child and make it grow
Support this child
Reinforce this Freedom
And don’t ever look back

We have seen the good deeds that you have done
We thank you!!!

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