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  • jashodharasen

Have you ever heard your mother sing?

Maybe in the kitchen or the veranda

Where the birds pay her a visit

Where the flowerpots are placed in a row

Where the floor is damp from the wet clothes hanging to dry

There, have you ever heard your mother cry?


In the bathroom, while taking a quick shower

Before serving the morning meal

Then the drain gets clogged from her hairs

(only the foggy mirror sees her tears)

She looks at the shadow that once belonged to her

There, have you seen your mother blur?


Away in the distance,

Away from the teapot, the pots and pans, and the spices

And the faithful duties of a mother

She continued the cycle of birthing, caring, falling, and daring—a celestial woman

as long as she gives.

There she fades.

What she left as a little girl

The jar of pickles, the partition stories, and the death of her father

(A red lipstick used by many)

There, perhaps, she hummed a song

She dreamed of a dream never fulfilled

She traveled afar but never claimed her wing(s)

And now, after many years

Have you ever heard your mother sing?

© image: a young mother and her child

Kolkata (Calcutta)


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