My mother

​My mother wakes up at 5am and her tired bones carry her to the place her daughter rests. 

She comes to my room and hopes that her nocturnal daughter full of poetry and sadness is asleep.
The worry etched on her face is something I wish I could erase. 

But even if I sleep early on time, what will ease the things that actually scare her? 

Her daughter has grown into a beautiful young woman and the monsters are no longer in her closet.

They walk on roads with eyes open with hunger and a mother knows when her daughter’s afraid. 

The other day she told me to carry a jacket not because it was cold.

But she worried that the little skin that my neck showed may paint a target for them.

She sees her daughter say goodbye and each day, her shoulder sinks a little because the way the worry gnaws at her heart 

The boat of her body can hardly stay afloat. But her spirit is unbeatable. She is the titanic. 

That even if that iceberg drowned her,she still sits unscathed in the ocean years later telling her story.

“Lawkar ghari ye an college la pohochlyawar call karayla visru nakos” (Come home as early as possible and don’t forget to make a call when you reach college)
 These calls have become a staple in the diet, my mother has for lunch and dinner. 

She chews concern and fills her stomach with dread  and her belly feels empty wanting more. 

“It’s my job to worry about you” .She says this after she works, cleans, prepares the food and still manages to ask us how was our day. 

I think after she gave birth, she replaced her womb with worry,her heart with selflessness  and her mind with only the thoughts of those she loved. 
And she forgot to put her own name in that list. 

I know of people who’d call her a superhero.I know of people who’d say she is the best. 
I know, I’d weep at her feet to tell her how utterly perfect she is to me but all I have are these words 

And I wished I had something more to say.She gives this legacy to me.

And while I wish for my own daughter I know the way she looks at me. I sometimes think 

Whether she wants to say ‘haven’t you learned anything, daughter?’

Like I don’t know what she goes through. That I’d inherit the gray hair

The dread at the pit of the stomach every time I go out.From all the things she’d want to save me from but knows she has to let me learn it by myself. 

The way she moves, the way she is, the way of the mother’s  where the priority is to build a spine in her daughter so smooth and hard that nothing breaks her except motherhood. 

Because she tells me, the first time she saw me, she knew of peace. 

She knew about love that transcends all the physics and philosophy she has learned. 

That nothing made sense except the tiny person she holds in her hands and never wants to let go.  

She tells me that I will learn how to get over heartbreaks that I will learn to do my taxes and it’s not that difficult 

She will tell me how best friends sometimes leave .

She teaches me I am all I have and that can be enough. 

Your sweet angel also loves you as much as you love her.


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