I saw life, after death
It was tranquil above the turbulence below

My first journey to the labyrinth of motherhood
Paved the way to the afterlife

In the middle of the night, the waves of muscle contractions within me became a savage monster who pinched, squeezed, stabbed my abdomen and pounded my back muscles and spine
My mouth opened and lips stretched as I lay on the hospital bed
The white sheet spilled with flowing Ruby River
While I felt the stings of shots from the local anaesthetic drug

My nerves calmed down, and there I saw and felt


A limbo of colourless thoughts
Floating in calm waves
Of air, water, and dirt

I woke up and felt serene and light
And without a trace of pain,
I yearned for home, to be with my love

Quickly, I stepped out of bed and left the room
My feet were off the ground; I glided along the corridors
Feeling light as a feather

I moved swiftly through the hospital hallways
Above all the people walking in and out of the hospital
I have no cares in the world; I simply wanted to go home

There I was, in the blink of a thought
Inside apartment 104 where I lived for countless days and nights
With my husband’s incalculable temper and his callous mother's whimpers

Here my soul was, at the dining table
With my husband and his mother, unseen and floating above them
They sat face to face while devouring spiced 'adobo'
Together with brown rice

The clinking of forks and spoons got louder
As they traded sharp words
To my mother-in-law, I was venom
A woman she loathed, she cursed my name

All about me, the conversation was
Exchanges of words punctuated with hate and love
I heard… but felt nothing

I was numbed, yet I could see clearly while I float
Crinkled noses, curled lips, and eyebrows lowered and drawn together
I saw… but felt nothing

I was in another dimension without time, until
I came back to where my body was
on the hospital bed.
I felt a touch and then opened my eyes
My eyebrows raised and curved as I stared at the woman in white
She smiled and whispered, “You came back… we are happy for you!"
She continued,
“Your baby girl is well, you will see her tomorrow
And surely, your husband, too"
I smiled—in cloud nine, I was; my heart humming a love tune
My mouth parted and teeth exposed as I thanked
All the gentle faces in white uniforms

Note:  The above poem was part of the article I submitted to the NUHA Foundation; and here was the response.

Dear Adelina,

We look forward to reading how people will react to your article – do encourage your family and friends to comment about it and, of course, vote for it! (They can do so by liking it on Facebook and by commenting on it).

Your article will be posted to our Facebook page ( and shared through our Twitter account (, so keep an eye out for this.

Good luck for this year’s prize!


Contact Adelina


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