for my mother
the institution of motherhood is slicked strong
and holy. amma tells me i was born around midday, a good time,
a couple weeks too early but the right time to meet the world.
she cleaved an old body into two new ones, a body for each of us:
they’d run parallel to one another, like thin channels at the rivermouth.
amma tells me that the future started to look like a delta,
all this, new land. all this, rich silt. all this, proof that we were alive and good.
it was autumn, and i was warm in her lap. incubator baby, i
stretched out my legs once or twice. she tells me i had good legs,
but i used them a little too much. when she was pregnant,
i’d lay my back against the wall of her belly and push against it.
i have apologised for that every mother’s day since. she tells me that
it’s all good. and what is goodness if not forgiveness?
to love other people and the world so much that you want to see
their sweet growth, their happiness, that is good:
and amma, you are good.
Munira Tabassum Ahmed is a young poet and performer based in Australia. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Lifted Brow, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Runway Journal and elsewhere.