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.
Date Published: 1998-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/daughter-mother-maya-seeta