Being a Sri Lankan

Being-a-Sri-Lankan-poem-about-mothers

Mothers’ hips are eroded
And her clavicles stick out.
She has had too many children
But she is still pregnant.
Her lungs are punctured
And Shred into pieces
Of ripe cloudless flesh
Only to be hidden beneath
Layers of charred rubber.

Mother breathes slowly
Slower than Chey-Stokes breathing
And she is still seething
Blood as if it were water.
Her arteries are clogged
By her own children’s bones,
Decayed by plastic
And steel cut leaves.

Mothers’ eyes are peppered
From shards of rubble
Of blown up temples
And shattered mosques.
She draws the crucifix upon her chest
And recites the Bhagavad Gita
When a storm is near.

Mother is calcifying each time
We turn into matchsticks
And heals with the azan
At the dark of dawn.
She moulds rivers of oil lamps
For her infants
lost in smoke.

Mother never cries
Even though we are gnawing away
At her nape, trying to tear ourselves
Into a dead piece of dermis.
Her neck comes loose
As does her voice
And she is beginning to whisper
Like a schizophrenic.

Mother can never live
Because she is being murdered
And grated by our own vicious palms.
As her tissues disintegrate
Before our blind eyes
We forget what it is like to be her child.

– Saduni Wanniarachchi
(A & K Literary Festival 2016 First Runner-Up)







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