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  • Asyraf Mustaffa


The needle trembled in her grasp

Its eye wavering in her frail hand

She squinted, her breathing steadied

And whispered, ‘a little more’

But the thread buckled, unyielding to her plea

She realised she had been stooped over

And the familiar ache raced across her back as she sat up

Small padded footsteps from outside

Greeted her even before she saw her daughter’s face

Her Love sat beside her, eyeing the torn dress.

Why don’t we just buy another Mama?

Because we mend what we treasure, my Love.

This tattered hole is a reminder of our faults

And memories etched should never be forgotten

But preserved as our lives’ silver linings

Her Love grew and knelt beside her, eyeing her torn dress.

Why do you still stay Mama?

Because our heart strings were bound together by Him

Woven to perfection, my Love

But we decided to create our own knots

Some stitched our imperfections together

While others were complicated by our unwillingness

To let go of our frayed ends

Because tugging these strings

Will only tighten the noose in the middle

And our hearts are not hard enough to see you suffocate

Her Love stood in the doorway, dressing her torn eye

Why does it hurt Mama?

Because pearls are born from the oyster’s discomfort, my Love

And so will embroidery from a needle’s prick

The beauty of your fabric rests on your fervour

To soldier on with your own hands.

She sat where her mother used to be

The needle now remained unmoving in her grasp

Its eye unwavering in her hand

She squinted, steadying her breathing

And whispered, ‘I can do this’

The thread yielded to her mother’s legacy

Her heart finally seamed.


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