For the dverse prompt. The theme is superheroes and I’m afraid I’m not a superhero person.


In the shadows the heroes,

the unsung, unwanted, unheard, the unremembered.

Not the media-friendly firefighters,

the sporting winners,

the glitzy, bling-bling heroes of the silver screen.

Not the pop stars turned pillars of our moral conscience,

nor the religious toga-bound long-bearded shaven headed serenities,

but the mothers.

They are there in the shadows of their crumbling houses

by the water pumps, the wells and in the fields.

They are there with their dying children,

on the sinking boats,

in the cellars of bombed-out buildings.

They make their nests and feed with their last milk,

while the dogs dig into their dens.

They are there, night after sleepless night,

mothers of feather and fur and torn rags,

and they are the heroes of this world,

their tears fill the oceans,

their hearts burst with loving,

and in their eyes,

the shame and the pity.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

37 thoughts on “Unsung”

  1. This is so very powerful. Yes — the mothers who continue to nurture in the midst of unspeakable horrors. Their tears fill an ocean as their milk dries up and their children cling. A very powerful response to the prompt. Thank you for posting.

    1. I’m sorry not to be more upbeat, but the Marvel stuff goes over my head. I haven’t been to the cinema in about ten years and just don’t care about Beyonce and JayZee, Mother Teresa or the guy who won gold at the ski jump. I’m just waiting for the revolution. It can’t come soon enough for me.

      1. Do not apologize! I don’t go to cinema to see Marvel folks either, nor do I read comics. I do believe the heroes are among us…….as do you.

    1. I’m always uneasy about the idea of heroes. Usually they are the people who end up dead. A live and celebrated hero probably won’t stay heroic for long. Look at Aung San Suu Kyi.

  2. Beautiful Jane. Mothers are definitely super heros. Without them and their super powers life would not go on. You poem is realistically heart wrenching. I love all of your images.

    1. Thanks Dwight. Women have drawn the short straw down the ages. The daily heroism of so many women is just ignored. We prefer to get ridiculous when some over-paid sports personality kicks a ball into the back of a net or dumps a ball in a basket.

      1. People do have confused values!! My mother never worked outside the home but was definitely a Superhero in what she was able to accomplish!

    1. There are fathers too who defend their families tooth and nail, but so often it’s left to the woman who is despised as a second rater to be the only shield her children have against hunger and death.

    1. Thanks Frank 🙂 That’s a statement of good intentions more than reality though! I hadn’t noticed women having much of a hand in ruling the world so far. It will come 🙂

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