What takes place in poem "For My Mother (May I Inherit Half Her Strength)" written by Lona Goodison?The main character and theme of poem.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem "For My Mother (May I Inherit Half Her Strength) by Lorna Goodison, who lives in Jamaica, tells the story of a young Jamaican soccer player who traveled for a match to Montreal, Canada. There he saw and was captivated by a blue-eyed Canadian young woman, who is the main character, who so enthralled him that he made sport with her instead making sport in the soccer arena.

Later, he sends a magnificent wedding ensemble in which to be married. He comes again and they are wed in Montreal, her bouquet held over the offspring forming in her swelling belly: "the unknown of her belly."

Then come the tales of the mother's toils with her sewing machine and food and grooming her nine children.

At the eventual time of the Jamaican soccer player's death, he has acquired a "Friend" to replace his wife's wasted charms, yet the mother insists that that friend not be remembered as part of their father. Finally, with no reason left to be stoic, determined and brave, the mother weeps for her lost life, which is the theme of the poem: the loss of life while gaining unrestrained love that creates new life.