Editor’s Note: This poem was first performed by Malaysian poet, Nuan Ning at the International University of Malaya-Wales Slam Off on October 16, 2019 where Joe Chan was awarded third place. It was such a delightful piece that we obtained Nuan Ning’s permission to post it here for you to enjoy.

From the sambal chicken,
To the pongteh pork.
From the sambal petai,
To the kunyit chicken.

From the dried chilli,
To the hot wok,
Mother’s cooking,
Oh my God.

When she wakes up every morning,
To sweep and mop the home,
And to prepare breakfast,
Mother’s cooking,
Tops the servitude,
Of God himself.

For she sacrifices,
Her time that cannot she rewind,
For the comfort of home,
And food in our stomachs.

When weekends come,
She awakens at 7,
And to the morning market she goes to.

She’ll buy the weekly groceries after,
With the money she has got.

It is an ungodly sacrifice,
That goes unnoticed,
Every day.

For when she awakens,
We’re still asleep,
For when she sleeps,
We’re still awake.

“Just do a bit,”
She’ll tell me,
About the little house-works,
Like the hanging and folding,
It may seem big to me,
Back then at least,
But now I understand better,
That a mother’s cooking,
Is nothing near half,
Of the battle she goes through,
Everyday,
In her normal home clothing,
Armed with a broom in one hand,
And a ladle in the other,
Multitasking queen she is,
A true warriors, she is.

Mother’s cooking,
Is what I am convinced,
Of what Heaven’s food tastes like.

For when my day,
Feels a lot like Hell,
Nothing beats the hot food,
Fresh cooked,
With the agak-agak measurement,
Of salt, pepper and ajinomoto.

So if anyone tells me,
That I am yet to try Heaven’s food,
Heh.
I beg to differ.

And I really do.

For, I have been blessed,
With God’s very own,
Right hand man,
Taking care of me.

*** Header image by by Elli O. on Unsplash

Hey guys, we’re looking for more short stories, poems and essays. If you’ve got some and aren’t shy to share it with the world, please drop us an email at editors@eksentrika.com. Oh, do read our Submission Guidelines first. Here’s another poem you might enjoy. 

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