Debris – Poem on Mother

by. Sarah Khan (Amity University)

I run back home

My mother has prepared lunch for me,

She’s waiting, she always does,

Except, this time I run home to debris,

It’s a heap of broken pieces,

Of bricks, of glass, of hearts,

And the realization strikes,

That my mother is hidden under the broken parts,

Where is my home?

Where is my life?

Where is my mother?

Why am I the victim of someone else’s strife?

And then I spot a hand,

Between a mountain of ashes,

I can identify the bangle delicately clasped around the wrist,

Memories of her cooking flashes,

I know that scar on her index finger,

She burnt her finger when I was seven,

Even so she fed me first before tending to it,

I am not yet ready to let her go to heaven,

I should step forward, pull her out from under the mess,

But I know I don’t want to know what’s happened,

I can see her lifeless hand,

And I know I don’t want to know what’s happened,

I can’t hear what everyone is screaming,

I am incapable of talk,

My legs wobble mindlessly,

And I fail to walk,

It’s my sister, who sweeps into action,

Pulls her out from under it,

And I want to run, I want to sleep,

I want to throw a fit,

I want her to wake up, and tell me to behave,

I want her to slap me, hit me,

I want her to yell at me,

I want her to wake and dust off her clothes of debris,

But she remains still,

And I think of all those times I argued,

All those times I asked her to leave me alone,

All her opinions I never valued,

And it breaks my heart to know,

I am not hearing those lectures again,

And that no one will ever care,

If I ate my food, or brushed my teeth, or how many almonds I should eat to strengthen by brain.