Daughter-Mother-Maya-Seeta

Reetika Vazirani

 
To replay errors
the revolving door of days
Now it's over
There's no one point thank god in the turning world
I was always moving
tired too but laughing
To be a widow is an old
freedom I have known
vidua paradisea    a bird
Singly I flew
and happiness was my giraffe
in the face of Africa
me among daughters
and my son at work
me pregnant with them
taking in the glamour days
town and country mirabella elle vogue
cosmopolitan    We have made this world
brown  these beautiful women
laughing and crying till we cleared the dining table
In hotels men asked my girls to fetch them towels
In restaurants they asked us for bread
Today I'm a civil servant on the Hill
From the Mall what colorful sarongs
my children bring to drape my ankles
the gifts we give
to Mina a necklace of Mikimoto pearls
Tara a Paloma purse for cosmetics
Lata a pair of lime shoes for the miles
Devi gives me her eclectic lit eyes
the glamour of our wilder regions
Bombay weavers on the twenty-four hour looms
shocking pink is the navy of India
Listen I am listening
my mind is a trip
I flew over oceans
I flew in the face of skies
orienting my loss of caste
my dark complexion
the folly of envy
wishing all my life to be fair
My jealous god leaves
Hello son this is your mother
Daughters take these maroon saris
these maroon bras
I am proud to have borne you
When you gather around me
newness comes into the world
 
First published in Prairie Schooner, Winter 1998. Reprinted in The 2000 Pushcart Prize Anthology XXIV and The New American Poets, a Bread Loaf Anthology, 2000 (ed. Michael Collier). Copyright © 1998 by Reetika Vazirani. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Poems by This Author

Dream of the Evil Servant by Reetika Vazirani
We kept war in the kitchen.
Independence by Reetika Vazirani
When I am nine, the British quit
The Lover by Reetika Vazirani
I took the train from Patiala,


Further Reading

Poems About Birth and Parenting
A Woman Waits for Me
by Walt Whitman
Acrobat
by Elise Paschen
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
by Galway Kinnell
Before the Birth of One of Her Children
by Anne Bradstreet
Central Park, Carousel
by Meena Alexander
Curriculum Vitae
by Lisel Mueller
Gods
by Michael Redhill
Goodnight Moon
by James Arthur
Honey
by Arielle Greenberg
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
Infant Joy
by William Blake
Lost in thought, the baby
by Rebecca Wolff
Morning Song
by Sylvia Plath
Motherhood, 1951
by Ai
Shoulders
by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Difference between a Child and a Poem
by Michael Blumenthal
The Mother
by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Sick Child
by Robert Louis Stevenson
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Tract
by William Carlos Williams
Wedding Album 1977
by Tess Taylor
With Child
by Genevieve Taggard
You Begin
by Margaret Atwood