தாய் ெமா௯ (Mother Tongue)1 min read

1 March, 2019 0 comment

Illustration by Louisa Tsui

There is a jungle
With lime coloured vines
And trees
That wear their bark
The way that Green Mambas
Wear their skin.
I follow the sound of anklet bells
Deeper and deeper
Into this green
Praying
For just a glimpse
Of her black-brown skin
In this spiral
Of green wood.
I look up at the canopy
And realise,
Sweat stinging my eyes,
It’s too bright here.
The sun burns through the leaves
Up high
Blinding me
As I search
For the Goddess I lost
So many lives ago;
The Mother I walked away from
As I numbed my tongue
To the sound of her voice
Even as it flowed through me,
A river of birdsong.
My ears can still hear
What my mind cannot grasp.
Would I still know her
If she allowed me
To come back home?
Here,
In the thick green of this jungle,
Would she wrap me
In the folds of her sari
And rock me in her lap,
While she stroked my face
With her weathered hands,
Reciting lullabies
About ancient queens
And wise, warrior women?
Would she let me stay
Here?
Until the end of my days?
Would she let me come home?


Channdika Thayver is a Tamil woman (pronouns she/her). Her ancestry lies in Tamil Nadu, India, but she was born, and thus is from, Singapore – the traditional territories of the indigenous Malay peoples of Southeast Asia. She now resides on the unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

Louisa illustrates out of a colourful box filled with books from top to bottom in Vancouver, B.C., where she’s keen on making zines and making new feline friends.  Her portfolio is http://louscribbles.com

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