14th May 2017

Unlocked Poems: On Mothers & Motherhood

By Kristy Wan

 

The excerpts below are from poems created with Red Room Poetry's Unlocked program. Unlocked finds poets and hip-hop artists in prisons running intensive creative, self-expression literacy programs that help inmates write their stories, share their stories and reconnect with their own communities. Find out more »

These selected poems all contain themes of motherhood. Of being mothers as well as sons and daughters. Mothers' Day is usually a celebration to honour mothers and their influence on their children and society as a whole. For these students, conversations with their mothers or children might be more difficult. Unlocked gave them the opportunity to work with poets and express these emotions, and many more.

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                           Across the yard it's a foot race to the phone
                           Punch my pin number in and I hear the dial tone
                           Call Mum for some news from my people at home
                           To numb the feeling, the feeling of being alone 

                           ~ from ‘Group poem’ by SCCC Poets
                           South Coast Correctional Centre 2014

 

                           I live in the footsteps of the elders
                           My blood runs thick through my veins
                           From my mother and father
                           Like the creeks and the rivers of my land

                           ~ from ‘Sorry for the pain’ by Oliver S
                           Balund-a 2016

 

                           If motherhood was a mountain
                           And daughters were flowers
                           I could sit all day & watch
                           you grow.

                           ~ from ‘Motherhood’ by Ainsley W
                           Dillwynia Correctional Centre 2014

 

                           Mum broken-hearted, I was a full time Clown.
                           Missed all the warning signs, can’t stop me now
                           Proud + loud, no telling me now, I’m too tall
                           Reality hits when I’m behind a steal door
 
                           Got to make the call:
                           “Sorry Mum”. I ran into a brick wall.

                           ~ from ‘Brick Wall’ by Anonymous
                           South Coast Correctional Centre 2014

 

                           I come to your grave,
                           flowers in hand.
                           A big kiss
                           on your head stone
                           and say:
                           I love you mum.
                           I am sorry.

                           ~ from ‘I am sorry’ by Murray J
                           Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre Silverwater 2011

 

                           The cold hard sky brings the cold hard wind
                           Brings me back to the things I did
                           I bring my Mum shame but she’s not to blame

                           ~ from ‘Untitled’ by Stewart S
                           Balund-a 2016

 

                           My babies are no longer here,
                           However they do exist.
                           They just live in heaven now,
                           as angels with wings.
                           With God I know they’re smiling,
                           watching from above.
                           Soon I will make them proud,
                           Mummy’s just doing it tough.

                           ~ from 'Angels’ by Tracey G
                           Dillwynia Correctional Centre, 2014

 

                           It is something I learnt
                           with out being taught
                           in all the world
                           there is no other to take
                           the place of my dear Mother.

                           ~ from ‘My Mother’ by Macca
                           Mid North Coast Correctional Centre 2014

 

                           you have a beautiful heart and you are a beautiful woma
                            an’ I wish you were still here for this hard time I’m going through,
                           just like you always was.

                           ~ from ‘MUM’ by Ronald H
                           Balund-a 2016

 

                           I am no longer lost for now soon
                           to be again a mother but for now
                           a girl – a little girl that’s to be mine

                           ~ from ‘IT HURTS’ by Siale K
                           Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, 2016
 

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You can purchase individual Unlocked anthologies from the Red Room Poetry store. All proceeds go towards funding future Unlocked programs.