By Njikonye Charles Nnamdi
My mother is the vibrant sepals of a flower, and I'm the tender petals she protects. Ask me of a wonderful mother, and I'll novel you my mother, with marvels only second to God.
My mother was birthed a few years after the Nigerian-Biafran war, of which her entry into this world was the bloom of her parents. She was the patience they seeded in themselves that an era of no war, a time of healing after the war, would come by. And they named her after that patience. They called her ‘Ndidi,’ the Igbo meaning for patience. I tuck my mother's name into my skin pores wherever I go; I'm strutting in a long queue, her name is Patience, and I breathe it in.
My mother was moulded with an elegant face by God. Her eyes are beautifully shaped and sparkling, glinting enough that grimy spots in my life would light up whenever she gazes upon me. These eyes of hers are sheathed in so much hope and longingness to see souls flourish.
Words from mother can morph out a conqueror from a soul shattered into a million pieces. Whenever my thoughts are heavy, I go to my mother, and she teaches me comfort. Her words are like medicine and therapies. My aches, like fine hands repairing broken bridges adjoining me to my destiny. I call her ‘mummy,’ and roses melt on my tongue.
When my siblings and I were much younger, mother would be up from bed before cock crow to prepare our school meal and get the family set for the day. She taught us about staying attentive and settling our best into executing goals, but we had long learnt and adopted this from her while observing her carry out daily routine because, as they say, action speaks louder than words.
Sometimes, I wondered if she had sufficient sleep at night. I'd ask her, and she'd always say she's doing well. I know mother is a bit stressed, but she says this, so I don't worry about her. Mother sometimes cries when things aren't right— she's human too. Still having wet her cheeks with tears, it doesn't define her as a weakling because my mother is as strong as a giant and brave like a lion. She's a thick rope and binds our family together.
How do we repay the kindness of a mother? When my mother is old, and her bones grow brittle, I'll be there for her like she was present for me. And then, mother will be tender petals of a flower, and I, the vibrant sepals protecting her. I love my mother.
Njikonye Charles Nnamdi (he/him) writes stories, poems, and blog posts. He enjoys watching films, reading, and doing internet research. His works have appeared in Eremite Poetry, NantyGreens, Last Girls Club Magazine, and others. He aspires to be a medical doctor. In addition, he has interests in climate change, entrepreneurship, and technology.