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  • Nabilah & Huszainy from ELEVEN

Of Conversations with My Mother

Produced by ELEVEN’s Nabilah and Huszainy, Of Conversations with My Mother is a search for answers to unasked questions, as they reflect on parental love, life, and wonder for the future. Nabilah chose to sit down, and, with valiant candour, record a conversation with her mother, asking questions about her childhood, her dreams, and the events that shaped her into the person she is today. Huszainy, on the other hand, turned to poetry as he sought solace in honest introspection.

Here are the lines to the poem at 4:42, titled “how to love”:

to love vicariously through photographs,

is me reaching out for a hand to hold.

a hand desperate to meet mother’s palm,

one starving for warmth in summer’s day cold.

slow running over stained photo albums,

a few spotted stills of days left behind.

my fingers extend into every moment,

waiting on hers to interlace mine, each time.

all these years it is your hand i yearn for,

to caress to grieve to comfort to mould.

i hear soft crying so i listen close,

only to find tears, tears that were my own.

then you decide to shatter the silence,

you ask, for why would you be sobbing son?

it shall be spring come tomorrow my boy,

our season of love has only just begun.

no mother, unlike the past twenty-six springs,

our barren flower bed has never bloomed.

no matter how much we water it now,

no single shoot will rise come end of june.

though now i realise as fall is upon,

you’re almost in the autumn of your life.

forget me not and forget you never,

how the changing of seasons bring respite.

you are my mother, how i am your son.

no unwound distance can change the above.

so i’ll try, dear mother, to be a son,

and that will have to be enough.


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