love language: ma

Megha Manoj

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me.

she tiptoes into my bedroom at daybreak / pulls my covers away / wrinkled fingers clearing strands of hair from my face / pausing only to caress my cheek / swishing the curtains aside / she gives me her widest smile / I could bask in her warmth / she is my favourite alarm / her voice is a familiar melody / I find love in the way she wakes me.

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me.

she brings me water and pieces of cut fruit when I study / complaining about how I spend so much time in a seat / she tells me not to kill hours in front of my laptop screen / sometimes the nasal tone in her whining gets to me / but all I see is concern in the creases of frustration outlining her face / I roll my eyes at all that she says / still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me.

she listens to my rants / grinning wide when I sound too silly / and she might never admit it, but she still loves it when I’m petty / often subtly raising eyebrows when I bring up boys / nevertheless, she lets me play coy / sometimes I ask her if she ever gets tired of all my rambling / she laughs and says, “my child, your words can’t annoy me” / I know I can be myself with her / I know that she is herself with me.

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me.

she holds my hands when I’m upset / welcoming the tears with open arms / patiently holding on to my pain / it runs down my eyes like raindrops rolling down a windowpane and soaks into her sleeve / she doesn’t complain / she just stays, silently / she lets me weep.

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me.

she stands in the way of the world and I / a fortress that’ll keep the world away / she holds on to my battles when I am tired / she flinches even when it’s papa that criticizes / she refuses to tolerate anyone raising their voice at her child / she fights the world for me / she’s my protector, my home / and her resilience gives me strength / a day will come when I learn to make it on my own.

My mother doesn’t tell me she loves me. But I hear her loud and clear.

Author Bio

Megha Manoj (he/she/they) is a young writer whose preferred form of expression is poetry. They also writes a bit of sci-fi. When they aren’t writing, they’re either singing, or reading a book. Their art is usually intended to demystify, normalise and better understand mental health, media representation of communities, feminism, queerphobia and other related topics. You can read more of their work on Instagram.

*All images used in this article are either Eyra’s own design or widely and freely available on the internet.*

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