Ngwana Mama

Garth Rakumakoe

These misfit puzzle pieces

of awkward childhood memories

to this day, leave me to ponder

from time to time, questions

I could never answer

about us, questions

whose tears I can only restrain

from flooding, but could never



Tell me  - Are you not

my mother's child?

Did you not prepare

the womb for me?

Did I not carry this baton

of life over, from your gentle palm?

Why then, does the air we breathe

always feel at odds between us?

What exactly, unsettles it?


Are you not cut from the same

umbilical chord, that became mine?

Sister mine, do we share an unspoken lie

or did I suckle the same nipple

you left behind?

Why then, did your trail fade

with the misty meadow?

When did you disappear

before me? And will you ever return?


See, missing what we should be

though vividly I recall 

your silent resentment

I was a child, as were you

and I cannot say why

ours resembles an ever dying flower

on an eternal winter, why

we are scattered, torn pieces

of what was once a letter

from home - I cannot say     


Does it matter - should it matter

who my, or your father, is?

If that's what it's about

Should our needing each other

not surpass that?

Who is to blame?

And what existence will blame

afford our offspring, outside these islands

we've helped build, and let garner mass?

Are you not my mother's child?


Why are we so apart?

Why is it so hard to forge

a bond of blood?

That child in me has to accept

but does not understand why

I am not your true keeper

for though you are far away

hand in glove

you are still a gift to me














  • Author: Garth Rakumakoe (Pseudonym) (Online Online)
  • Published: October 11th, 2022 05:23
  • Comment from author about the poem: Some relationships can be so difficult to explain. This piece comes from a deeply personal point and I find speaks to those familial tugs and knots that often times spill over into our adulthood and shape the individuals we become. Ngwana Mama in my native tongue literally means "My mother's child". My sister and I grew up apart, but I always knew she's my sister whenever I could see her. I love her dearly, yet we are estranged, even today. Reaching out has never helped. We are so distant that it has become normal. I feel that now in our adulthood we have the power to change the narrative, but we just won't I guess. It gets to me when I reflect on it; the many other aches of childhood we went through, that came with the separation as well. This is how the hurt shaped itself on paper.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 31
  • Users favorite of this poem: Rocky Lagou, SharonMoemise, Eugene S..
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  • Rocky Lagou

    This hit like a truck. I'm so sorry to hear that your relationship with your sister feels this strained. That echoing refrain "Are you not my mother's child?" is so haunting and sad at the same time. I know what it's like to have edgy bonds with family members. My relationship with my dad is literally a tumultuous thing, but I feel the way you do, I still love my dad despite our differences. I feel like sometimes our perceptions of what a family bond should be is different from other people's perception. Some people feel indifferent or perhaps unaware of the emptiness that's felt when a family bond isn't established. I pray that hopefully you and your sister can see eye to eye, it won't be easy, but nothing's impossible. This was fervent and vulnerable, thank you dear poet.

    • Garth Rakumakoe

      It is often said that never force a relationship with anyone, and let whomever does not wish to be a part of one's life be. Much as I admire the bravery of such, I feel the need can't not be felt when those ejecting themselves from you are the very ones who should form and integral part of your existence. Then again, family isn't just blood, we've come to learn. I'm sorry to hear about your relationship with your dad, Rocky. It cannot be an easy thing to handle. Your contribution hereto gives a lot of consolation good sir, knowing you can relate even on a personal level. Thank you so much. Peace, love and blessings to you.

    • SharonMoemise

      This poem speaks volumes, dear poet, A situation that happens to many, though how you brought out this truth with such flawlessness, showing your vulnerability in a way only a great poet like yourself can, still astounds me. Your acceptance of what is, is overridden by your need to know why it is happening. Someday, I hope, all may become clear. This is a sad, yet brilliantly written piece. Thank you for sharing yet another masterpiece

      • Garth Rakumakoe

        Resounding "Your acceptance of what is, is overridden by your need to know why it is happening" - I guess life's answers to us will not always match the question we have, isn't it? True that we can only live on hoping for clarity, and find closure and peace. Thank you for that valuable depiction.

      • jarcher54

        This piece is so personal and poignant I am privileged to read it. It is evident that you are a wise perceptive human being. I agree with Rocky... the vulnerability you expose is humbling. Best to you.

        • Garth Rakumakoe

          Thank you, fellow writer. I am glad it found an understanding place with you. Your words are much appreciated. Peace, and blessing to you.

        • Neville

          a deeply moving poem full of self disclosure .. and although it won't make any difference me saying this, but the inspiration behind it is not that unusual .. I have the same relationship vacuum with my own sister ....... Neville

        • Garth Rakumakoe

          Thank you, Neville. Wish I could've spared you the emotion of relating to this one, but I guess also, some things are better accepted than understood. Much appreciated, fellow poet.

        • Eugene S.

          Wow. What an impactful poem. The emotions come through so vividly...and gracefully. I do hope she gets to read this poem one day.

          • Garth Rakumakoe

            Thank you for your reading time, Eugene.

          • Violet bluebell( used to be yellow rose)

            Hi Garth .. a sad writing .. tho expressed well ) I’m sorry for your hurt over the lack of a real relationship with your sister

            I can understand how relationships with your family can feel difficult sometimes / or not even feel like you can even relate or feel that close to others

            • Garth Rakumakoe

              Hi vb... Thank you so much, for taking your time to read and understand. For the kind words as well. Much appreciated.

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