The painful birth of motherhood So few have really understood Is but a shadow that foretells The pain our parents knew so well Of children singing out farewell As to their freedom they rush out With a merry, happy shout “See you, mom, papa,” they call Do they look back? Not at all Headlong, heeding freedom’s call. While we stay behind, pretend It’s a new beginning, not an end They have crossed a Finish Line For the first time, we’re left behind Watching, waiting, marking time. And these pains unlike birth pangs go Not in waves, but slow, real slow The first sharp stabs are weeks apart When they forget to call, your heart Then feels a spasm really sharp. They carry on their merry way We check our e-mails every day Every text on our mobile Is opened with expectant smile Every call is answered while For them, it’s ‘can I call back please?’ Rattled off with smiles, with ease While we hold back our tears today Say, “sure, but don’t forget, okay?” And hold off for another day. Until at last the birth pangs ease They never really ever cease A day then dawns, they have their own And that’s when you will know they’ve grown Their love for you is then full blown It's time for you to smile again It's time to let go of the pain It's time for them to say to you Those words of love, born fresh, anew “Dear ma, dear pa, we love you too.” Rohini Sunderam is a Canadian of Indian origin. She is a semi-retired advertising copywriter whose articles and stories have appeared in The Statesman, Calcutta, India, The Globe & Mail, Canada, and The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia, Canada in addition to several Bahrain-based publications. As Zohra Saeed, she is the author of Desert Flower (Publisher: Ex-L-Ence Publishing UK). She was a contributor to the anthology My Beautiful Bahrain (Publisher: Miracle Publishing, Bahrain), More of My Beautiful Bahrain & Poetic Bahrain, (Robin Barratt Publishing UK), Corpoetry – a collection of poems satirising corporate life (Publisher: Ex-L-Ence Publishing).