Dedicated to all mothers


Taking residence for nine months inside of one’s womb,

For gestation,  establishes a nexus till the tomb.

As a rule, the fetus growing is not guaranteed to last full term,

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

A feat that neither rejects the other as a foreign body; a feat very common,

Especially when a fetus may be a health hazard, a risk not so uncommon.

The sought-after reward: the pain, joy and risks of gestation end with delivery

Risky, maybe, always painful but leading to the greatest discovery:

The pure joy of touching the softest skin of an innocent newborn.

A 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,

The first to be reached by a teacher, the doctor, or for PTA meeting.

A mom’s job 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 trekking, 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.

A mother, across all species, protects ferociously her offspring.

Mother hen, a 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.

The calmness she offers against tumult is not a mirage but a real oasis.

Like an elixir of happiness sweeter than the sweetest honey.

Life giving and lifelong nurturing.  Can’t be

bought for any amount of money.


Reynald Altema, MD

Excerpted from The Voice, published  in 2018.

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