Literary Yard

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‘After her Son’ and other poems

By: Sahana Ray

After her Son

walks the Palm Springs, holding nothing in her hands.

She once owned a pen, drew castles within her
cramped old walls;
but a stretched detour in her high school days-
backstreet dusky like her skin-
“Poor girl, so young”; nine months later,
she had a son.

Ten years on,
she has buried her boy,
his life the cost of the loaf of bread he stole from them:
“Poor girl, gone mad”; she works her way
through cities that keep her alive
no more than her dead Mama’s tattered caftans.

I bring her here,
to talk;
she says,
“He loves it here”,
and sways her hair like the green palm-fronds,
and grasps the hand only she can see,
somewhere in the happy air
Filled with her distant dreams.


Serpent I Am

            I am, and a 
         strange one, I hear:
         I let my prey come to 
        me- by dazzling my skin. 
         I seize his heart, by my
             striking stare and
              sweet slithering.
                   I smother 
               like I
   And swallow some of his soul. But when

I’m spent, for his love has shrunk, I slide away,
to shed my skin, regrow my sheer art.
Woman I am, and a brave one, too. So, till
this woman dazzles anew, she loses
the loves
her heart


Resist Me

I have heard you laugh
at the little lumps of flesh that bulge out through my dress,
I have heard you whisper
that no man will ever want to carry me in his arms.
So, when I dress up, I don’t forget to smile at myself
for not letting your words into my life.

When I turn around and look at you with these
deep, doe eyes, when I laugh away
your petty judgements and rise above all,
try to resist me.
When I speak and spears come out of my mouth
to pierce your heart, your mind and your past,
and you want to come begging to me to ask for forgiveness,
try to resist me.
When you are afraid that I will engulf your whole world with
my rounded lips, every time you say that I eat too much,
try to resist me.

When you see my smile flashing across your morning newspaper,
the little smile squeezed between the balls of my cheeks,
when your children recite my poems and of how I have braved it all,
Resist me.

Judge me more, I’ll spread like poison;
laugh at my roundedness, I’ll become a blinding sun;
I have always awed at how beautifully
no one carries me
translates itself into
I can carry myself.

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