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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Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld. wordpress.com/

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