An Ode to My Mother: A Poem by Mousumee Bruah

I do not imitate you, but I love you.

Your body was whisked away by time, but memories, I wrapped you in me forever will stay, as long as I breathe and my heart beats.

I do not imitate you, but my love and feelings for you are deep.

My eyes remain fatigued most of the time now, due to the mundane chores.

So, where is the time for my eyes to cry and pour?

But while applying vermilion on my forehead.

And if a dash of vermilion powder at times, falls on my nose, and my nose turns scarlet red.

Tears rolled down my eyes, for once a dash of vermilion powder used to fall on your nose.

Talcum powder also made me cry, I find the scent of you when the fragrance is of lavender and rose.

As my mind recreates the scene of sprinkling talcum powder on my back by you with care.

Here the weather is dry, so rain and rainbows hardly appears and whenever it appears.

My tears merge with rain, as I hear your enthusiastic voice.

‘Come outside, look there is a rainbow in the sky ‘ you used to call us with great rejoice.

And when the pungent smell of mustard oil wafted in the air.

I crave your mango pickles dipped in the oil, arranged amicably in layers.

No doubt you were down to earth, but you remained passive when you should have raised your voice.

I am silent too, but in the need of the hour, I have a voice.

I understand your generation was different, perhaps, misogyny didn’t hurt you as much as it hurt me, and now I am also a mother.

What I have gone through and suffered, I shall not let my child suffers.

Anyway, I want to nestle again and again in your warm womb.

But next time, I want to meet my simple, unassuming mother as a woman of action, a decision-maker, with aplomb.