I was in the Valley to do research when I stopped at the Firehouse Restaurant for lunch. It is near the corner of Victory and Reseda, close to where I used to live. As I looked out the large windows, I thought about what Reseda means to me and why I’m still drawn to it years after I moved away. I often joke on Facebook about Reseda being the “Glorious Motherland.” I then started thinking about my mom and what she meant to me. That was when “Motherland” gained a whole other meaning and inspired this poem.
When my soul aches,
I freefall into my mother’s arms.
“Don’t cry, my child.
There is no hurt I can’t comfort,
No secret you can’t confess.
I’ve felt the footsteps of your suffering
And know where your heartbreaks are buried.
“Sit beside me by the pond
And let me tell you the stories you’ve forgotten.
“When your legs were bound with braces,
But you insisted on walking.
When you waited patiently in right field
But were grateful you were playing.
When you learned how to forge your pain into words
And made the audience cheer.
“I was the carpet you fell on,
The grass on the field,
The wooden floorboards on the stage.
“Wherever you go,
I remain on the soles of your feet.
“Carry me with you,
And I will give you a place to stand when the ground gives way.
Listen for my voice,
And I will encourage you when all you hear is discord.
“I am your mother.
I am your motherland.”