• Gayathri Mohandiramge


I knew not the meaning of giving life

Till it was given out of me,

Knew not life and death were close comrades,

Till my tot suffocated at the threshold of my cervix,

Struggling for her ‘breath’

Realized not the agony of femininity,

Till shrills of sheer pain escaped my lips,

to bring forth ‘life’

Realized not the agony of propagating life,

Till the first loud cry resonated through my vaginal walls,

to give way to ‘life’

Knew not the torment of the mind,

Till I struggled to give suck to newborn

And failed as a mother as some may say.

Tortured night and day for a good latch, the excruciating deed.

to retain life and ensure my breed.

Knew not the strange happiness,

Of seeing life grow before my eyes,

Till I heard her mumble “you happy Amma” for the first time.

Knew not the beauty of death,

Till I embraced it and escaped the struggle of life

In search of fine light beyond the mortal hike.

While leaving her behind.


First published in the Young Feminist Network Newsletter, Dec 2020

Artwork by Seravi Harris