THEIR DAUGHTERS by Meena Kandasamy

Paracetamol legends I know
For rising fevers, as pain relievers -

Of my people - father's father's mother's
Mother, dark lush hair caressing her ankles
Sometimes, sweeping earth, deep-honey skin,
Amber eyes - not beauty alone they say - she
Married a man who murdered thirteen men and one
Lonely summer afternoon her rice-white teeth tore
Through layers of khaki, and golden white skin to spill the
Bloodied guts of a British soldier who tried to colonize her…

Of my land - uniform blue open skies,
Mad-artist palettes of green lands and lily-filled lakes that
Mirror all - not peace & tranquil alone, he shudders - a
Young wife near my father's home, with a drunken husband
Who never changed; she bore his daily beatings until on one
Stormy night, in fury, she killed him by stomping his seedbags…

We: their daughters.
We: the daughters of their soil.

We, mostly, write.
by Meena Kandasamy


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