Upstairs, Downstairs

This poem was written for my former downstairs neighbour and dear friend who has now returned home to Egypt with her husband and children. It was an honour and a joy to share our lives with them, and to find a warm connection that overcame any differences.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere!! Peace be with you. May you always be supported, embraced and encouraged by your fellow moms all over the world! Go team! 🙂


Upstairs: a crazy crew of kids

six littles bouncing, dancing, singing, banging.

Downstairs: two small sweeties,

running, shouting, playing, laughing.


Upstairs, downstairs

the mothers scold, cook, cuddle and caress.


Upstairs, downstairs

the mothers mother

day and night.


Upstairs, downstairs

the women sing

in Arabic and English,

songs of faith and lullabies

unique yet universal,

of one heart.


Upstairs, downstairs

the women weep,

mourn lost babies–

precious ones snatched away too soon–

in each other’s arms

these mothers find warm comfort.


Upstairs, downstairs

the women pray,

observe Lent and Ramadan,

break their fasts and rejoice together

over homemade sweets.


Upstairs, downstairs

the women hope,

cherishing the new lives

nestled in their wombs…

little tiny babies

due at the same time.

May they be best friends!!


In the world there is hatred

but not in our house.

Upstairs, downstairs

there is love.


4 thoughts on “Upstairs, Downstairs

  1. Wave

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, my daughter and your friends and fellow mums. It is wonderful to read about your closeness to a woman, who became a friend , in spite of many differences. I always feel there are many similarities between those of different cultures and religions and motherhood often brings out the sharing that is possible. Enjoy your kids today🤗😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Gallagher

    Anna Anna! I hope you don’t mind but we discussed this beautiful poem today…. also with reference to repetition and parallelism. They really liked your poem, and me too 🙂 Mary


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s so nice! I’m so sorry the girls missed class! We intended to come but I lost track of time feeding our 100 baby axolotls (Mexican water salamanders) which just hatched this past week! Feel like such a goof!!


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