Trigger Warning: contains brief mentions of violence.
My mother’s mother called today
To ask my mother of her husband’s home,
Because she didn’t know of what else to talk about
If not, the life she coerced my mother into nineteen years ago at twenty-three
Followed by a brief conversation of my mother’s daughter
That my mother’s mother asked her to have at twenty-four if she had wanted to save her wedlock.
My mother’s mother doesn’t care
About the things she talks about, naturally,
She claims to know a lot to help ease the detachment
From one to the other.
Thus, her conversations on politics,
Being half-read, half-misheard, yet,
Delivered fully with the skilled palette of a desperate politician devoid of recognition,
While she gently pours cyanide on one’s wounds with her poetry as she romanticizes false promises.
My mother’s mother talks of her home,
Of her lost mother, and
Of her emptiness,
That she transferred to my mother, who then
Passed it to me like a leftover cookie, to carry bits of it as it crumbles with the lack of composure it seeks in me.
My mother’s mother is incapable of bearing reality,
Her denial of which birthed my mother’s conscious thrusting a new pawn in the shade of green;
An emerald, my birthstone.
And so, I thought, I am turning to my mother’s rage like she once turned to me with her fears embodied in violence,
But as I heard my mother’s mother spout the selfish lies considerately in her kind voice,
I realized that really, I am my mother’s mother,
With her firm hold on her scarred past and self-inflicted harm she did at every halt in the road of her journey to make it her last.
Rujul Budhiraja (she/her) is a first-year law student at Jindal Global Law School, JGU. She enjoys writing fictional poetry in English, Hindi and Urdu, reading political and historical literature along with dwelling over Urdu ghazals and nazms.