I Didn’t Know: Momma 101

by Belinda Munoz on September 15, 2010


I didn’t know what pure joy meant
until I looked at you that first time

I didn’t know what peace was
until I watched you sleep

I didn’t know my soul could sing
until I heard you laugh

I didn’t know what sunshine was
until I basked in your spirit

I didn’t know how fiercely protective I could be
until I saw you cry

I didn’t know how much I could ache
until I felt your pain

I didn’t know how proud I could be
until I saw you happy and free

I didn’t know what precious meant
until I felt your heartbeat

I didn’t know unconditional love
until you forgave me again and again…

I didn’t know how warm an embrace could be
until your little arms wrapped around me

I didn’t know the meaning of labor of love
until I mashed your meals

I didn’t know the down home rhythm in words
until you called me “momma”


This is my first entry for One Shot Poetry Wednesday.  Click HERE for more poetic words from 50+ poets.


Image by Paul Stevenson

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gautami tripathy September 15, 2010 at 3:33 am

So beautiful. Eternal truth.

nowhere island


2 Glynn September 15, 2010 at 4:11 am

I love this. It’s a story of a mother discovering that her love for a child is growing ever deeper. Nice one.


3 TheKitchenWitch September 15, 2010 at 6:10 am

Boy is this true–especially the part about never knowing real hurt until you see them cry/in distress.


4 Justine September 15, 2010 at 7:32 am

Oh this made me cry. I hear you my friend. I feel the same way.


5 rob white September 15, 2010 at 7:39 am

Very nice, Belinda. I love watching your poetry blossom. Beautiful little shift in your last line.


6 Katie September 15, 2010 at 8:12 am

Super-mom, super poet! The last line made me tear up. My daughter still calls me mama and she’s 17.


7 The Exception September 15, 2010 at 9:02 am

Oh how I know this feeling – these feelings. You captured them so wonderfully – and yet words just scratch the surface.


8 brian September 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

oh man oh man…i feel the same way about being called daddy by my boys…yanking my heart strings today. nice one shot.


9 Steve Isaak September 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

Light on its feet flow and bottom-line emotion buoys this familiar-yet-well-wrought verse. Looking forward to future work from you.


10 Fr. Michael September 15, 2010 at 10:09 am



11 Shashi September 15, 2010 at 10:46 am

How sweet… love it.
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya


12 SuziCate September 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

Absolutely beautiful. You put what we mothers feel so eloquently into words. Thank you.


13 Aging Mommy September 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hi Belinda

I am so very glad to see you doing this poetry meme, you are a great poet and I hope this means we get to see a lot more of your talents on display. I loved this poem.


14 Eric Alder September 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

Everybody thinks parents teach their children, but it’s just as true the other way around.

A very sweet One Shot, Belinda!


15 dustus September 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Very sincere, grateful poem about so many things you learned being a parent. Happy One Shot!


16 Talon September 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’ve loved learning from my children and this poem is a beautiful acknowledgement of the gifts they give us. Just lovely!!


17 Collective Epiphanies September 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

All the tiny miracles hidden within the role of motherhood. Children teach us just as much, if not more than, we teach them. A moving tribute and the image adds a nice touch. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


18 Anthony North September 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Beautiful, and with an excellent ending.


19 Tess The Bold Life September 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

This is beyond awesome. You’ve touched on the heart of every mother. It’s a winner!


20 in the hush of the moon September 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

absolute beauty. i know this, the sacrifice of a mother’s heart…

i hope you might link up sometime with me at imperfect prose on thursdays, friend. your work is wonderful.


21 Whitesnake September 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm



22 john September 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I like the lullaby refrain of the piece and can imagine it a song for two voices. Thanks for reading and commenting on my poem. Hope your week goes well.


23 William Manson September 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

a terrific poem, asking and answering lots of pertinent questions :)


24 Mel Gallant September 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

what a lovely tribute to the joy of parenting and the discovery of that joy in a moment, a gesture and even in the mundane (all that mashing!). :)


25 Jingle September 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm

love it.
sweet and touching.
very aptly delivered poetry.


26 Rudri September 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Beautiful. Period.


27 Cathy @ All I Want To Say September 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm

You are really good Belinda. Beautiful.


28 Davina Haisell September 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Very beautiful, Belinda.
My favourite line was: “I didn’t know what sunshine was until I basked in your spirit”. There’s a lot of soul here. Be proud. Be very proud! :-)


29 Belinda Munoz September 18, 2010 at 7:59 am

Thank you, Davina, for your supportive words. (Now if only I could learn to sustain that proud feeling…)


30 Nadia Ballas-Ruta ~ Happy Lotus Lifestyles September 16, 2010 at 7:18 am

Belinda, you are a very talented woman.

That was so beautiful. Your love shines through in every verse.

Thank you for sharing your artistry with all of us.


31 Claudia September 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm

how beautiful you describe a mother’s love for her child…have three children myself – and can underline every single word!


32 ayo September 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

very touching piece of poetry here, belinda.
take care and end enjoy the rest of the day


33 pete marshall September 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

a wonderful piece….having children changed me..made me…ther love knows no limits and we must remind ourselves that it is us that can cause them their sorrow…thanks for sharing..pete


34 Keith Davis September 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Hi Belinda
My daughter is off to university on Sunday so your poem has a special meaning for me.
Not sure how I’ll react when I say goodbye and drive away.
Tears I’m sure… but happy tears.


35 Malo September 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Absolutely Beautiful!


36 Tessa September 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I love this. So beautiful and true.


37 Marci September 21, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for sharing your poem with the rest of us! It reminds me of the song “In My Daughter’s Eyes.”

The part that speaks to me the most is the “forgiving me again and again.” That is so true. It amazes me how my kids innately know it’s okay to make mistakes. They love hearing how I messed up as a kid (and as a grown up)! They are the first ones to forgive me. And, I hope I’m the first one to forgive them too.


38 Offbeat Woman October 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

“I didn’t know my soul could sing
until I heard you laugh”

Belinda…I think this is the most beautiful poem I have ever read and I am going to print it up and put it on my wall. Re the lines above…I often tell my children how much I love the sound of their laughter. Sometimes I hear one, or all three ,of them in another room laughing that gurgling ‘belly laugh’ and it fills me with so much pure joy! The joy of the singing soul I reckon…


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