Romana Ercegović

Tribute to Mothers and Grandmothers

A Poem by Romana Ercegović

To all our mothers and grandmothers,
who didn’t know what we know.
Who didn’t know that their body belongs to them.
Who didn’t know that they are allowed to feel,
that they can be heard in their softness,
respected in their pain,
honored as women.
Not only because of their beauty,
but because of their love,
because of their wisdom.

To our mothers and grandmothers,
who didn’t know that making love is divine,
not a duty.
Who didn’t know that they are here for their joy,
not because of their service.

To our mothers and grandmothers,
who got covered by bitterness
because they thought it had to be that way.
Who dressed themselves in armor,
in hardness, strictness, rigidity, meekness,
in order to avoid the hurt.

We are crying instead of you,
all the tears that you have swallowed.
We are raging all the anger
that you have hidden within yourselves,
with fake sad smiles on your faces.
We are throwing off the clutter,
the need to be liked,
that you clothed yourselves in
so you could survive.
We are softening the hardened hearts
that no one was tenderly caressing.

How could you be the embrace of love for us,
when your bones were soaked in the fear and shame
of your mothers and grandmothers?
How could you know to say,
“Be the river you want to be!”
when you yourselves didn’t know how
to flow in freedom?

For us and for you,
we are spreading the wings that you cut
so you could keep us in the safe shelters
you didn’t dare to leave.
We are walking the paths you warned us of,
because you didn’t understand them,
so that one day
you could see that we were right
when we dared to reach for the happiness,
and to put our own hearts on the altar
on which you were worshipping other gods.

For us and for you we choose ourselves,
and all those freedoms
you were not able to take for yourselves.
Because of the path you walked,
because of your love,
we could go further.
A step deeper within.

We are the answer to your secret prayers
for a better world.
The most precious gift we can give you,
in gratitude,
is faithfulness to ourselves.

In deep, deep compassion for us all,
for us in you and you in us,
we are kissing the earth
that was always
holding us in her embrace.
Inviting us to become who we truly are,
to remember the joy in our wombs,
to dance together.
With tears, the purifying dew of pearls,
to heal the wounds of centuries,
to honor them,
and with the magic of love
caress the world.

This poem is copyright © by Romana Ercegović.
If you share it, please always include the author's name and a link to this page. Thank you!

The image is a photo of an original painting by Simona Čudovan and is copyright by the artist.