15 November 2014

Sisera's Mother: Waiting

Judges 5:28-30

It is late.
Call me silly - but I worry,
I worry as I wait.

I know
you are a grown man now,
can care for yourself.
I know
your old mother annoys you
when she worries too much,
when she asks too many questions,
when she pressures you
to come home in time
as if you were still a little boy
getting into scrapes,
I know -
but I worry,
I worry as I wait.

Don't you know
that to me you are still
that vulnerable child,
coming home crying
after a fight?
A great warrior you may be -
but to me you'll always be
my baby.
And so I worry,
I worry as I wait.

Don't worry, they say.
Don't be silly, they say.
You must be celebrating
another victory
(what else could it be?
You never lose.)
with a girl or two -
why shouldn't you?
Why think of
this old mother of yours,
why care about me
in your hour of victory?
Maybe they're right -
I believe they are right -
because I don't want to consider
what it would mean if
they're wrong.

But still I worry,
I worry as I wait.
It is late.
come home.


[15. November 2014]

Sisera is the guy who was killed with a tent pole, stuck through his head by Jael. (So yes: he's not coming back...) The whole story is in Judges 4-5. Sisera was the commander of the army of a Canaanite king who was oppressing the Israelites during the time of the Judges.

I decided with this poem to focus on the feelings of a mother who stays up late waiting and worried. Young people like me might find it a bit annoying to be asked "Where have you been?" or "When are you coming home?" or "Can't you take the earlier train??" (Frequently Asked Question by my Mamma some years back, haha..) but maybe we need to understand that mothers aren't trying to curb our independence or control our movements or keep us small and dependent (at least not intentionally) - they're simply concerned out of love for their children, they want their children to be safe. Maybe a better way to react to (what seems like "over-the-top") motherly concern is to be thankful and say "I love you too", instead of getting annoyed? :-)

(And thinking of Sisera and his waiting mother: "I know, I'm late... at least I'm not dead with a tent pole through my head...") (DON'T try that kind of comment though!!)

Picture by Joseph Albert Moore.

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