Celebrating East African Writing!

I Know Now

How was I to know?

As I lay in bed;

Shaking like a leaf –

That Mama; wrapping her arms around me,

Was trembling even more.

How was I to know?

As I bawled my eyes out;

Over the tiny bruise on my knee –

That Mama; wielding the dreaded spirit,

Was bleeding in her heart.

How was I to know?

As I left for my first day at school;

Wide eyed and terrified –

That Mama; waving enthusiastically,

Was scared to let me go.

How was I to know?

As I whined about my hunger;

Pestering and complaining –

That Mama; handing me the last cookie,

Was braving the pangs of starvation.

How was I to know?

As I regarded my new shoes;

With the disdain of a selfish brat –

That Mama; hiding her hurt with a smile,

Had worn the same pair for ages.

How was I to know?

As I got my way everytime;

With no regard for how she felt –

That Mama; blind to all my vices,

Couldn’t love me more if I was a princess.

How was I to know?

As I watched her go purposely about her chores;

With no sign of slowing down –

That Mama; the face of sheer bravery,

Was aching for a helping hand?

©Martha Arimi 2010


3 comments on “I Know Now

  1. Ulo Benson
    May 14, 2010

    This is great piece of work Martha and timely for the Mothers day. A lot is taken for granted and as she grows old, we should reverse the trend because she needs the reverse.


  2. Molly Omadi
    May 9, 2014

    i love this. I still have the poem you wrote for my birthday. I hope it is you… get in touch. I am on face book


  3. jules
    August 27, 2014

    moving piece…keep the pen writing, don’t let the ink dry xxxxxx


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