A Poem from an Elementary School Student for Her Mom Who Died from Cancer


A poem written by an elementary school student has been a hot topic in South Korea.

The poem was written for her mother who died after a long fight with cancer. “A Meal that I Want the Most” was written by Lee Seul, who has had difficulties coping with the loss of her mother. The words in the poem are filled with so much love and sorrow that it has made many readers reflect on their own mothers. The poem recently won first prize in the regional Ministry of Education’s poetry contest.

Below is a translated reproduction of the poem:

<A Meal that I Want the Most>

Although I do nothing,

Although I speak with an annoyed and whining voice,

A meal has always been prepared for me

Which I have taken for granted


Three times a day

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Meals have always been prepared for me

No words of gratitude

No expression of appreciation

Regardless, the meals have always been prepared for me

Why haven’t I known?

Why wasn’t I able to see?

My mom’s wrinkled hands

That prepared the meals?


Why didn’t I hold her?

Why didn’t I say thanks?


The words that I have hidden for a long time

Sitting alone in front of

A meal that I will now never get

“Mom, I love you.”

“Mom, thank you.”

“Mom, rest in peace.”

I can no more

Sit in front of a meal table that you have prepared


Now it’s my turn to prepare a meal for you

I’ll fill it with your favorite food


However, I still miss

The meal you have prepared

The meal I will now never get

The meal I long for the most,

The meal my mom has prepared.


Original article

Translated by Juna Moon