Their daughters

Paracetamol legends I know
For rising fevers, as pain-relievers—

Of my people—father’s father’s mother’s
Mother, dark lush hair caressing her ankles
Sometimes, sweeping earth, deep-honey skin,
Amber eyes—not beauty alone they say—she
Married a man who murdered thirteen men and one
Lonely summer afternoon her rice-white teeth tore
Through layers of khaki, and golden white skin to spill
The bloodied guts of a British soldier who tried to colonize her. . .

Of my land—uniform blue open skies,
Mad-artist palettes of green lands and lily-filled lakes that
Mirror all—not peace or tranquil alone, he shudders—some
Young woman near my father’s home, with a drunken husband
Who never changed; she bore his beatings everyday until on one
Stormy night, in fury, she killed him by stomping his seedbags. . .

We: their daughters.
We: the daughters of their soil.

We, mostly, write.

(First published in Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore)


5 responses to “Their daughters

  1. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. I blog a lot of about my daughters, but nothing this eloquent.


  2. Pingback: Poems I read at Shillong « Meena Kandasamy

  3. Peggy Trawick

    Powerful. Another one to love.

  4. I read ur poems. I am just writing an article on ur poems in comparison with the poems of Canadian first nations women poems and Australian aboriginal poems.
    congrats for the good poems . wish all the best to cotinue with more vigour.
    look forward to collect all ur poems so as to complete the article i am planning

    with regards

  5. I like the line about ‘stomping his seedbags’. Sudden, reactionary and gory!

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