Never Got The Chance

Nompendulo Shabangu

Africa, Botswana

One of my most favorite things was when my mother would cup my face in her warm hands
And smile so bright with glistening eyes
and tell me how she loves my big brown eyes
I loved how she combed my hair so gently
And whisper to me so faintly
How she couldnʼt imagine life without me
And that there was nowhere else she would rather be
Mom told me that my Dad threatened to leave
Her if she didnʼt get rid of me
And even though she loved him and didnʼt want to lose him She decided that whatever will be, will be
I often have flashbacks of how Mom and I used to struggle I remember that the only blanket I had at times
was my motherʼs warm body pressed close to mine
And when she would hear my soft sobs that I tried to hide Sheʼd whisper to me, “Honey, weʼll be just fine”
And just fine we became
Because truthfully, situations donʼt remain forever the same Guess what, a child doesnʼt remain a child forever
Ha! I grew up and I worked hard.
I became top of my university class
I refused to let my background hold me back
I graduated and became a lawyer
And Iʼll never exchange the proud look on my motherʼs face
She cried and tried to hide the tears
She couldnʼt believe that weʼd overcome our fears Looking back to all those years
Thatʼs what could have been
It hurt to know that these big bright eyes
would never live to see their own motherʼs eyes
And that these ears would never hear that “weʼll do just fine”
Because somehow they got to her
The people that managed to convince her that I was just a blob of cells Tissue. Thatʼs what they said.
I wish the other people had gotten to her first
They could have informed her that my Maker said that
Even before I was in her womb He knew me
And that He equipped me to be a blessing
While He was knitting me in her womb
But that womb in which I was supposed to be secure
Ended up being my tomb
And even though I wasnʼt fully developed
I felt it as I was torn from limb to limb
How dare they convince her that Iʼm just a bunch of cells
Many have sown seeds and expected something to grow out of it,
And it did.
And it did.
But no one ever thought that something would ever grow out of this seed.
They donʼt know that when I was killed in my motherʼs womb My dreams and hopes were also killed with me.
All that I could ever become was killed with me
You see, my mother was wrapped up with what was before her, And she didnʼt stop to think of what could be
Yes, my Daddy would have left But we would have been just fine.
Even though people managed to tell her that I was just a blob of cells What nobody knows is that she secretly mourns
On what would have been my birthday
She recalls how old I would be
And even though she tells people that my sister is her first child Deep down inside she knows itʼs really me