The call came that fateful day
Which I imagine tugged you miles apart
And pulled you across the sea;
Your duties as mother and daughter in tension.
You became failed mother to us,
But Mother to your nation.
Only half our blood.
You returned to your motherland,
But couldn’t return as our mother,
The threat of exile looming over your head,
The threat of being a failed daughter.
I guess you were never ours to keep.
Two lost boys with a father fading,
And a mother erased from our family portrait
To emerge the face of her country –
Your face all over the news, on the walls of strangers’ homes,
But missing before the hearth you were needed.
The burden of your family legacy
You chose over the ones left behind –
We couldn’t keep you.
You didn’t belong to us exclusively anymore,
Or perhaps, you never did.
There’s no word to define our state
Of late father and gone mother.
If Peter Pan could whisk us away,
Stop time for us while your life progressed
At the dizzying speed of your kingdom’s,
Perhaps we could return to a faded you,
Your duties done, (you’d wait for us
As we’d waited our youths away)
So we could be your children again.
A/N: I’m not trying to be political here, nor am I passing judgment. This poem was inspired by a conversation my friends and I had with our hosts in Oxford.