Does love grow old? When Abigael Mantaine sat down to think about love for Namelok’s Fourth Annual Poetry Competition, she thought of her mother. She thought of moments she felt completely comforted and at peace, of her mother’s gentleness and protection, her advice and acceptance. The love she remembers doesn’t end with her youth. Her mother ages, becomes frail; time wears away, but her love is unchanging. Abigail fears the day she’ll lose her mother, but never has to fear losing her love.

My nonprofit Lift the Lid, which supports underfunded schools and encourages the students to write, hosts annual writing and poetry competitions at each of the three schools we work with in Kenya, and at the Happy Family Children’s Village in Tanzania, the latest addition to our outreach! First place winners receive $100, $50 of which to use for their own needs and $50 to buy something needed or just plain fun for their class. We also choose a second place winner ($25) and honorable mentions.

Congratulations, Abigail, on placing First!!

Here is her winning poem, typed for ease of reading and her original work below:

My Mother

“Love is a strong feeling that you have when you [feel] a mother’s love for her children.

When I was a child, [my mother] would comfort me. She wiped my tears, so tenderly.

As I laid my head upon her chest, this was my most peaceful rest.

She sang to me so I would sleep. These precious moments are mine to keep.

Her gentle touch, her caring face, there could be no other to take her place.

She tried to teach me right from wrong. She always gives and never takes. Never does she criticize my mistakes.

The years have quickly passed by, in her eyes the aging lies.

Her skin has wrinkled, her hair turned grey. How I yearn for yesterday.

She is tired, her health is poor. She sits waiting for me to walk through the door.

When she is gone, my heart will die, and I will count the days till I see her again.

This person I speak of could be no other. She is, of course, my loving mother.”