I come from a line of indomitable women (Poem)

My grandfather,
passed away, kneeling before the kabah,
arms raised in prayer,

he left behind
seven daughters,

small strong women,
sisters who struggled,
long hours in factories sewing clothes,
bringing up children in foreign cold countries,
sisters who worked long hours,
selling dresses on the street,
long days frying potatoes,
pickling atchars,
making sticky sweets to sell,
counting the money,
raising the kids,
losing children,
losing husbands,
grieving beyond grief,

dealing with the ways of men

I come from a line of women who persevered,
who went on, despite everything against them,
who smile, welcome, love, forgive
who give and give


Who cook with beauty; slice onions with ease, braise curry leaves, mix masalas and grind powders. Who show love with food, worships their guests, fill plates, refill them, insist you eat more and always worry whether you are eating enough

Bent over with gout, sugar, heart disease, love, courage,
who phone each other,
and ask in soft voices
‘Are you okay?’
‘Do you need anything?’
‘Must I send something?’
‘Tell me what you need’

Women, who are strong, indestructible, funny, loud, stubborn


So how can I, when feeling crushed,
when sensing the moving of my shore,
the crack in my spirit,
the shudder in my earth,

How can I,

not recall these women,
whose blood runs in mine
whose courage thumps in my chest,
who have shown that we are survivors,
more than survivors,


How can I, let anything shake me?

When I come from a line of indomitable women.

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