Poem: Ode to Mama

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She was the cool hand on a delirious, feverish child’s forehead
The soothing singsong voice of love without words
Mama, mama, mama…
Yes, she was a mama
But once she was a little girl as well
Skipping barefoot through a path in the jungle
Plucking papaya from up on high
Laughing through poverty with her umpteen siblings
Eating sticky rice with  her right hand
Arm propped on her knee like a crane
Dipping squeezed food into soy sauce and red pepper flakes
Squatting to eat without a table in a semi-circle
Happy just the same to be with her own mama
You see your goddess in a mist
Remembering her only as the woman you knew as mama
But once she was a little girl
Just like you, darling.