Mother is Dove

Written by: Canny Amah

Modest woman moderate woman
Your inner beauty strikes me
Like the tongue of noble eloquence
More than gold even refined gold
Or our purged fulgent silver.

Black woman proud woman
Your pride is not haughty
But a humble pride of eaglets;
Your black eyes are so glittering
As the eyes of our dark rivers
Filled with messages of peace
That banish the broody turmoil
From those panting hearts
Of your foreigned offsprings.

Gentle mother diligent mother
Your kindness kindles the fires
Of my heart –
Your dexterity dresses
The table of our ageless history
And the thought of your being
– Oh kind mother! –
Makes the most delicious menu 
For my heart.

I remember your naked feet
Fast and fair as a pigeon’s limbs
Treading the invisible paths
Almost covered by shrubs
Small shrubs misted by the prime mist.

I remember the wood from the wood 
The water from the water 
And manifold items from jungle alleys 
Borne by your delicate hands
And upon your soft black-haired head.

I remember the constant match 
To markets and to farms
And your bright face smeared with 
The ash dust
Making you more beautiful
Than any woman whose feet
Ever touched the naked earth.

I remember those burdens
Upon your cheerful kin-souls 
And babies strapped to your backs
Babes full of unspoken words
To unborn others in patient wombs
Waiting in an endless turn –
Indeed, mother is dove!
A black dove and a dark huntress
A hunter’s gift from the maker?

Mother is like a weaver-bird
Building a big foot-like nest
Filled with corn and warmth
A bundle of eagle-flight
Mother is dove
And the hunter calls her
The clan’s eternal dove.

Oh, mother loving woman 
Gentle as our black horizon
To you we humbly come
From these far and lonely lands
Hoping to grace our love and beauty
Before that jealous grave
Makes her temporary feast.