Gabriella Munoz: ‘Madre Migrante’

Gabriella Munoz reading ‘Madre Migrante’

Migrant mother
sola no estás
el espíritu de las madres migrantes que lo hicieron antes te acompaña

Their worn-out hands hold yours
when you push the pram until he sleeps
and your legs hurt
They hold your back when you feel faint
because they’ve singled out your child
{otra vez}

Migrant mother
your womb will heal again
It will grow another child
y tus hijos crecerán sanos
{sin miedo}

But the heartache for your country won’t disappear,
it will steady your course

Cuando crezcas mijo
Remember your mother
Sin su madre, sin su tía
Sin su abuela, sin su hermana
Speak her language
Eat her food
Embrace her on Sundays
When she looks at the horizon looking for her mother’s arms
And their warmth
And how she longs for you to be held by that woman
she has told you about

Migrant mother
no estás sola
los domingos ellas
look at the horizon too
They feel your pain
y tu preocupación
por ver a tus hijos así
{sin abuelos, sin pasado entero, sin domingos familiares}

Migrant mother
the healing balm that Sunday’s dusk brings
comes from migrant mothers’ tears
and their strength









Sola (‘ ): alone
Espíritu (ɛs.pi.ˈɾi.tu): soul, the non-physical part of the person
Madres (ˈma.ðɾes̬): mothers
Migrantes (mi.ˈɣɾãn̪.tes): migrant
Hijos (ˈi.xos): children
Crecerán (kre ‘θe ran): will grow
Miedo (‘mje ðo): fear
Mijo (‘mi xo): similar to kiddo, an endearing term that combines the words “mi” (my) and “hijo” (son). Female: mija.
Sin (‘sim): without
Tia (‘tja): aunt
Abuela (a ‘βwe la): grandmother
Hermana (er’ma na): sister
Ellas ( ‘e λas): they
Tu (tw): yours
Pasado (pa ‘sa ðo): past
Entero (eN ‘te ro): whole, unbroken
Juntas (‘xuN tas): together
Cansadas ( kan ‘sa ðas): tired, fatigued
Domingos (do ‘miŋ gos): Sundays
Familiares (fa mi ‘lja res): family (used as an adjective, family Sundays)
Abuelos (a ‘βwe los): grandparents

Gabriella Munoz is Mexican-Australian writer and editor based in Melbourne. Her work has been published in Mascara Literary Review, Eureka Street, Djed Press, The Victorian Writer and many other places. She’s a 2019 Hot Desk Fellow and is currently working on a collection of short stories.

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