All posts filed under: Poetry Archive

Hardness

Who hardened you like this? Thickets of “protection” fortified around your heart “Protect you from what?” I ask The emptiness in your eyes replied in place of the silence of your lips Resting and waning The tide pulls back viciously Draining the earth around it You give and you take your love away Stow-away for “safekeeping” Closed down so good even you couldn’t find yourself I’d like to believe there was once a spark where your fingertips grazed the curves of life’s edges A glisten in your eye when you spoke life into the ears of the universe Hope in your heart where now hollowness pervades Because to feel nothing is better than to ache I said “What did they take away?” But I meant “What did they leave you with?” A fragment of your own reckoning Without the whisper of desire to put yourself back together again And for what? Time to be filled with emptiness As vapid as the distractions that divide meaning from the meaningless Hope from the hopefulness Empty as the …

Flesh as Mother

I’m only as strong as I am soft The first earth between your feet The soft mounds of flesh that blanketed your skin The landscape of striations and colors like a canyon stretching over the hills that you call home Cradling my hearth From my heart to the nest of my womb From my spine to the depth of my spoon I hold stories in my waters From which I birth myself and you too I am blood as much as I am bone Cradling the strength of you standing on your own As I find my balance The pillows of my flesh are always here to lay your head So many nights my sobs gave me new breath So many days laughter freed the pain from my chest I’m not without blemish I drink from the roots of Love when there’s nothing left I’m only as fearless as I am tender I am the clay malleable in your hands As you take shape of the space I hold for you We are of each …

Stage IIa

The famous doctor, who is highly skilled in optimism says, mastectomy is just not needed for my mother. He looks at her breasts, cups his hands in prayer to mean: these are god’s gifts. Rain falls as if god is moved and something the size of a glass marble moves inside my mother. Only this time it is not as simple as her sadness.  On the way out, my dad collects his coat and courage, hand on his heart says, We are not worried at all,  doctor sahab, about vanity, remove it if needed. Within five days, the city receives half its annual rain. Within a year from the visit,  dad & I weave If-only sentences. What a shame they sound like  compared to the hymns she sang, the little gods she tied around our healthy bodies. Was the doctor’s verdict a medical verdict or a man’s verdict on what a woman must have to look like a woman? Like inseparable drops doubts pool at our sills.  We cry with the other not looking. And …

Mother

Dearest mother, I’ve fallen in and out of love more times than I can gather And where have you been through it all? dearest love, sincerest mother Breasts I once clung to But was never allowed to tether Dearest mother, mommy, please Where have you been? Nudged from the nest ‘Cause you thought indulgent affection was a sin So I learned to fly and never to crawl Never to be weak and on my knees, Never given permission to bawl Where have you been? Through it all. Mother Not just a noun, but a verb Beloved mother, Be loved. If not by me then please, Lord, by another. I pray by me, one day, Concurrent mother and daughter. Image by Juarte Cesnaite Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

The Tide

A yawning, mawing emptiness that lies inside her without rest That pulls away at every thread, that leaves her sick and full of dread. With every step she takes in life, through love and loss, through pain and strife, she yearns to fill the void inside, to plant herself before the tide. The man she sleeps beside in bed with charming words and roses red. Though patient much, he cannot win. He cannot touch the depth within. The boy and girl, her love runs deep and yet they fail to see her weep. They fail to see the beating drum that beats inside their loving mum. And though the hugs and kisses leave a feel of warmth, a small reprieve, the tide is never far away for happy feelings never stay. The friend will always save her seat to laugh and rant each time they meet. The darkness then is kept at bay, the tide receding for a day. But as her confidence will dip, her lovely smile leaves her lip. The hollow feeling makes …