Monday, April 13, 2009



They ask for a comment on a photograph, This one is heartfelt.

I like to think Olga may hear about this piece but it is probably too much to hope for.


She shares her lineage
 With the President of the United States.

But when I knew her,
In South Africa,
Over thirty years ago,
She was a non-person,
A 'coloured'.

Her name was Olga.
And she was my 'char'.
But, first and foremost,
She was a Mother.

Still in her twenties,
She had several children,
And she lived in a shack
In 'the Coloured Area.'

I was guilty of thinking
That this was normal!

When she came to 'do' for me, 
She brought Wendy with her.
Wendy was her latest child, 
But not, I'm sure,
Her last.

My two young children loved Wendy.
She was so pretty, so placid,
So pleasant to cuddle.

In the end
The 'wrongness' of South Africa
Impressed itself upon us.
We prepared to leave.

On the last day Olga came to me.
'Please take Wendy with you, Madam.'

I couldn't believe my ears!
I knew she adored her baby.

I remonstrated with her.
'You couldn't give Wendy away, Olga!'

I explained to her.
'It wouldn't be allowed, Olga!'

She cried then.

'But her life in Australia
Would be so much better.'

Her unselfishness impressed me mightily.
I have thought of it, often.

Are you a smart young thirty-something
Working in Capetown
At a high-powered job?
Have you a computer?
Is there the slightest chance
That you may ever read this?

If you do,
You will read of a wonderful Mother.

And she is yours.


Janie said...

Wow, what a great story about a mother's unselfish love.

deepteshpoetry said...

Resounding echo towards the end.Pls c my poem too on my blog n cmnt.

Winifred said...

That must have been so hard for both of you. It would be wonderful if Wendy did see this.

Beautiful photo of a loving mother and a gorgeous baby.

Kat said...

a touching tribute to a great mother. That's Mother's love.