Maternal

0327

I look at my mother
Bringing in item after item to the dinner table.
A spread as rich as a King’s banquet.
And I look at each one of us
About to grab hold of a drumstick
Or a fried prawn.

And I wonder how she feels;
She gives and gives, when giving is fighting
On its toes embattled with extinction.
And giving when performed in the absence
Of ritual or rite, is where you find the sacrament
Of charity emboldened by motherhood.

I think of the maternal motif
That leaks out the charity syndrome
And all I can feel is my mandible
Growing a snout, and my legs converging together
As my body curves into the shape
Of a question mark. In my thoughts I’m turning to a seahorse.
Still, a seahorse only gestates and rarely
Rears the young.

And I realize I’m stuck in
My own purgatory of thought.
Tormented by my inability to feel
What my mother goes through day-in-day-out.
And I finally give in, knowing
I will only be a man who can carry
A troupe of tadpoles in two out-of-body sacs.

And I look at my mother
Knowing she is everything I’m not.
A giver like no other – From uterine blood
To milking breasts and now, a banquet
Of chicken and prawns.

And I’m that wretched life form
That only knows how to glutton out in sin
On my mother’s obese feasts.

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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