Ema (Mother)

by Shreema Ningombam

You were everywhere,
Yet I searched for you.
In the places of Carnivals,
In the deepest of woods,
In between the locked horns of the wilds,
Among the cries of the flags,
Among the phantoms of the nights.

I came home. I found you.
In the nearest corner of my heart,
Peeping behind the curtain of my mind,
Playing with the music of my soul,
Beating the drum of my pulse,

Dyeing the crimson of my blood,
Swimming in the breath of my life.
Some says you are a witch.
Some says you are an angel.
They say you are damned.
They say you are divine.
I came home,
To salvage your grave,
Where I found,
The skull of my ancestor,

The naophum of my ancestral kin,
A torn phanek stained with her primeval blood,
An old chest that opens,
With the faint smell of ancient breathes.
Tonight I light the light of my heart.
Prostrate in this vast graveyard,
With pride or with guilt I do not know,

Should I carry another mortal being in my womb,
I a nameless mother wait and wait,
To mourn the death of my yet unborn.

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