This piece ‘Maa (or Mother) Taught Me’ is very close to my heart. It talks about the little ways in which my mother coped with my father’s death and the lessons I learnt from my their heart-wrenching love story.
for every time my father
would be away on business trips
my mother would take up knitting;
to pass her time,
or more precisely,
to not miss her husband so much.
she tells me how she isn’t very excited
about the idea of letting her desperation,
her longing to see her lover
build a home inside her body.
so when my father passed away,
she took up knitting as her regular chore.
she’d sit on her husband’s armchair
next to the window
of the living room,
in rainfall and sunshine.
you see, my mother taught me well.
now everytime that you’re away from home,
i write a poem in your name,
and doodle your hands, and lips
on paper and put everything
inside a mason jar.
most of the nights,
i sleep in the sea of your attar,
and sail in the ocean of your memories.
the sheets and pillows
smell so much like you.
i like to keep the bed unmade,
so i don’t fill the trenches and troughs
that have held you and me,
and our love|
for days too many.
distance is an eight letter word,
and so is solitude and yearning,
the mason jar has filled up to the brim,
there are too many poems now
yet too less,
written in your name,
with too many things that have been unsaid
since the last time you were here.
the bed has been begging to be made.
bring me a mason jar
to be filled with poems again
for the next time you’re gone.
or better still, come back,
and this time around,
tell me you’ll stay.
Saheen Sultana Rahman
Saheen is a writer and a communication student currently pursuing her postgraduate
degree. She finds beauty in monotony and in run-of-the-mill things. She wants her work to be a voice of rebellion, a sword for change, a lifeboat to save someone else from drowning. She strongly believes that art exists in everything, big and small and that we only need the unavoidable and insatiable hunger to find it. Her work has been previously published in The Alipore Post, Terribly Tiny Tales, Live Wire and Indian Sahitya Akademi.