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Written in tribute to my mother and by extension all mothers who selflessly sacrifice their dreams to offer their children the life they were denied. Writing this piece was a cathartic experience although I believe words will always be inadequate to express my gratitude to such a woman of strength as my mother. Thank you for taking the time to share this journey with me. Be blessed.

Ode To My Mother - A Woman Of Strength

6b7e2884e1a0da7cdb410bd5f2cc3e4aby Jessica Taylor17 Jan 2014

On the sixth day of May, 1987
Giselle Belfond awoke at five A.M
Stretched languidly in defiant embrace of the day’s offerings
Recited her prayers with pious perfection
And made her way to the bathroom to relieve herself
of the night’s toxins
Giselle Belfond had been anticipating
the arrival of this day for a very long time
This was the day when her daughter Jody
would be sitting her entrance examination for
secondary school
Everything had long been fastidiously prepared
The school uniform had been washed and pressed
And the school bag packed
Jody’s examination slip had been pinned to her uniform
for safe keeping
With that slip
Giselle Belfond pinned all of her hopes, prayers and deferred dreams
For Giselle Belfond had not benefitted from much schooling
or much of anything for that matter
Not that she was one to complain
Who had time to complain
When there were mouths to be fed
And living to be bled from the endless struggle that
was the daily existence of Giselle Belfond
So on that fateful day
when Jody walked purposefully
Into the examination room and sat at her assigned desk
She read that examination paper with her mother’s eyes
And wrote with her mother’s hand
She listened attentively as Giselle whispered
a litany of instructions in her ear
Sit up straight
Take your time
Stay focused
Eyes on the prize ma Cherie
And it was with a wistful smile that Jody whispered back
No ma mere
I’ll keep my eyes on you

Jessica Taylor © 2014