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
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 when he recalls
this story, to himself or to guests,
my dad, he never does not mention
the bright color of the umbrella
they left behind.
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