some women lived and died of kwashiorkor bellies
some carried earthen pots
over knotted hair, sun's fiery flames scalding
to a beaten black

pots filled with water, for
their children to be buried soon
in the desert, or Andhra enclaves
some of them carried

live heartbeats, fed them morsels
of cooked lentils by the fire,
only to discover
they were girls, and

throttled them with their bare knuckles
before they could even stand up
some died at the hands of
midwives, they were replaced

by new wives
who'd bear sons, their lineage
a string of starving beads
i've lived past the years

An artist who's work has been carried by a local gallery, Chicago- based Divya Rajan, grew up in Bombay, India. Her poems have appeared or are
forthcoming in Lily Literary Review, Poetry Friends, Everyday Poets, The Times of India, Femina and other literary publications. When
the muse takes a nap, she blogs at


Copyright 2009