Dedicated to Meena Kandaswamy
On some days my mother is a dreamer
Behind barbed wire(s).
Like a dedicated addict
She snorts words
Nose buried between the shuffles
Of pages worn by
Too much forgetting.
Her bookstores like drug houses
Our listening grandmothers collected in the folds of their wrapped sarees
to be Devoured-
Like a good poem swallowed whole.
On some days my mother knows them too.
Six meters of stretching stories
She is an aching book.
She has learnt that the Lepchas name themselves mutanchi-
the mothers creation:
We are but daughters of the earth.
and proudly she tells you how every inch
Of land here speaks the memory
Of multiple dialects,
Yet only the taste of our Urdu
Ruins a white man's tongue.
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