What’s On Your Mind? [A Poem]

by | Jun 19, 2022

They show me the bulging veins,
On your forehead and across your abdomen,
Striking like lightning bolts against a dark sky.
They tell me it shows,
The pain you are taking in.
Yet not a word.

Sweat and blood running down,
But not a drop of tear.
Swallowing the pain,
You sit on your haunches,
And sometimes spring up on your heels.
Yet not a word.

More than 48 hours and a swollen vulva later,
You pull out your beloved with such grace,
With but a quiet exhale.
You see your beloved,
A smile on your face.
Yet not a word.

You clean your sari,
Washing away the bloody red stains,
And bury the placenta.
Except for the sound of the flowing river, 
Penetrating silence.
Yet not a word.

You wait patiently until your turn comes,
No clicking tongue or restless tapping.
Staring intensely with a warm smile,
Hui-hui to every query your way.
When we inquire, your gaze wanders.
Yet not a word.

But where are the words?
If not words, sobs? Kisses and embraces?
Do your emotions not choke you?
How do you express what you feel?
Incessant thoughts run through my mind,
Do they in yours too?

Or is your mind as still and deep as it appears?
Is it not uncomfortable to not express yourself?
To sit with your stirring thoughts?
For I cannot. I am curious.
Will you also teach me one or two 
About your language of silence?

I assisted a child birth a few months back and the experience has stayed with me ever since. I have tried to pen down what I saw and what went through my mind on that day.

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