Table of Contents
  About the Poetess
  My Father's Country
  Azadi: 1989-1995
  The Yellow River
  Summer Rain
  Mother's Day USA
  Bride in Red
  My Dream
  The City of Dread
  Kashmir Today
  Sukeshi has a Dream
  Autumn Rain
  The Story of Ganesha
  Washer Woman
  The Ever New Poet
  The Yogi
  The Rishi
  My Death
  Self Spectre
  Autumn Song
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Mother's Day

[For Kashmiri Mothers]

A fringe of leaves
outside your window
casts intricate shadows.
You sit up in bed;
it is only the wind.

You remember
birth cries, the slime
of womb waters.
Clean hair afterwards, 
like sepals of tulips. 

First taste of milk on soured 
lips, thin like sliced roses
seen through glass.

Dream brush of lashes
barely visible.
dimples on little feet,
pale plums of early summer.

Nails are so sharp already, 
fists clench. Feet grow heavy,
descend down the stairs;
cave them in.

Year after year,
caravans pass you by.
Without regret, gold dust 
settles on autumn leaves.

Your dream becomes 
a distant house. 
You reach it, a shadow
slips out of the door,
then another. A thousand
shadows gather around
and you scream.

You have nothing more
to say. Pursed lips
watch camp fires
in Jammu, in Udhampur,
in Pathankot. Your exile.

At home, in Kashmir, 
you have learnt 
to beat your breasts
like a madwoman
to keep out the hunter.

Your milk, my mother,
for sure, has turned bad.
The blood is still yours

to rage against, rage
My Lioness!
The fire of your womb
is in trees, lakes, rocks.

[© Lalita Pandit, May 10, 1998].



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