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Poem of the week: Conversations with Mama by Akkushtap Baktigereyeva

Haddy Ndure | 12 August 2019

A warm remembrance for a mother, this is also a discreet reflection on a mother’s love and guidance for her child

I miss your voice Mama

and I thought I’d go to you.

I wanted to tell you in private

about my joys and sorrows.

Do you have the strength

to have a long heart-to-heart?

Fewer and fewer people understand

the state I am in.

You did not listen

when I asked if you

would follow me

and remain near.

You didn’t believe me when I told you

there were cruel people,

who exploit love for personal gain,

who would give a child to strangers?

Mama, since I left your home,

I can’t believe the horrors I’ve seen.

Singing of powerful love,

I collected white flowers in the garden.

I survived

a sly friend’s betrayal.

Raging sadness, the longing of the soul      

sometimes breaks out in these words.

Then again I rip them up, afraid to upset you.

I’m dreaming about you, can see your wrinkled face.

I know if I asked you about justice, you would say:

‘Do not hurry daughter, all in good time.’

From Contemporary Kazakh Poetry, published by NBT in partnership with Cambridge University Press

Written by: Akkushtap Baktigereyeva


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