Nine-month residence inside of one’s womb

For gestation, establishes a nexus ’til the tomb.

Fetus growing is not guaranteed to last full term,

Yet his presence, his movements, create a hope, very firm.

Pain, joy, and risks of gestation end with delivery

Laden with greatest discovery:

For joy of touching the softest skin of an innocent newborn

Mother faces all obstacles out of love for the newborn.


Breast-feeding, sleepless nights, possibly battling depression,

Mom’s multitasking elevated to another dimension.

Forever, the first to fix a boo-boo, for feeding or soothing,

Or assist the incessant cries of a baby in the throes of teething,

First to be reached by doctor, teacher, for PTA meeting.

Job’s description: “At the forefront and no retreating.”

Her thighs used for errands or lap for spontaneous cuddling.

In a bind, a seamstress, or ready for the cutest knitting.

First one to receive a kid’s Christmas wish list,

Toys seeking, a pleasure from which she will not desist.


Its essence is unequivocal love.

Mom’s affection is the best treasure trove.

Mom’s heart, ripped and thrown away by a wicked, will still ask:

“Darling, are you all right?” No one can top such love or task.

Across all species, protects ferociously her offspring.

Mother hen, permanent disposition, and not a fleeting fling.

Motherhood is universally respected,

Offspring’s attachment to mom is expected.


What is the lifespan of motherhood? From delivery onward.

It is a state that keeps expanding its scope upward.

Maternal instinct includes caring for one’s own as well as others’,

Consanguine or not, grandkids, sisters’, strangers’, brothers’.

Moms are excellent caregivers at orphanages, hospitals.

Such august altruism is meritorious of any number of pedestals.

Motherhood needs to be celebrated on a daily basis.

Calmness against tumult, not a mirage, but a real oasis,

Happiness elixir sweeter than the sweetest honey.

Lifelong nurturing. Can’t be bought for any amount of money.

By Reynald Altema, MD

Excerpted from his novel, The Voice.

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