I sit idly these days for hours together,
With an almost forsaken hope of possible company;
Is it the company that I really desire?
Or is it to turn back the clock,
To the days when my children would gather around me
With love and care and awe and respect,
With fierce anger and passionate defence
At the slightest denigration of their mother’s love?
And now there are but young children
So intent on crossing the seven seas,
To explore the world outside and serve
Uncles and Aunts and cousins,
Who are only distantly theirs.
No longer happy with what I can give
No longer content with the fruits of their land;
They reach out to win only what other lands can give
From their brightly lit palaces and fuller coffers.
They are hardly wrong I feel
For who shouldn’t fight for what they deserve?
And I would never be selfish enough
To ask my children to stay.
To stay with their ailing mother, and their sisters and brothers,
Who, though not dressed in the fashions of the West
Who, though not be educated and refined at elegant institutions
still, need a caring hand,
And above all, love my children as their very own people.
But no, I cannot, and will not, stop my children
From embarking on their voyages far, far from me.
I can but sit and lament
And reminisce about those innocent days
Though dark at times yet filled with joy and belonging and love,
When my children were content with me.