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Khadija Rehman



Khadija Rehman


Machetes Of Motherhood

Machetes Of Motherhood

2 mins 362 2 mins 362

Purple stretch marks peep from my stitched abdomen

Like erupting grapevines in a forgotten vineyard,

My plucked strands—scattered lullabies— decorate

The cradle.

Flaccid limbs, like bent,

tired branches, meekly

Protest in despair,

While swollen, dripping

breasts sigh as my newborn

Clings to the nurturing flesh.

I’m but an Indian damsel whose baby blues linger low

Between the Ohio River and

Appalachian Mountains.

Silhouette of disaster— unkempt days, broken nights,

Milk powder and burnt fingertips,

My soul smells of leftover porridge, my name tastes

Like frozen cereals.

My infant wails like a lost mermaid after midnight— you

Should meet the charcoal shadows under my eyes,

Tranquillity is a desert rose now— choked hiccups, and

Fragmented burps saturate the suburbs’ breeze.

I’m but into motherhood— as freshly as white orchids, my

Peaceful moments as littered as seeds in a watermelon.

Certain summer evenings, my toddler hangs around

My darkened neck like a lost kite,

Those dreamcatchers have captivated my muffled

Sobs— aching bones, raw tendrils.

Diapers are my pillow, and my skin smells of

Strawberry shampoo and talcum powder,

I’ve tea parties with the musical

Duck potty training seat.

I'm but an oceanic calamity— a disintegrating song

Of a fatigued siren.

Sparrows chirp in the

Redwood forests, and

Mountain lions hum in the

Sierra Nevada,

The California sun isn't enough to thaw my 

Frozen veins of postpartum depression.

I was told motherhood was lovely and

Divine— a biblical blasphemy, perhaps?

My nerves are frayed— shrivelled poppies; I'm

Underwater— my throat is clogged with algae.

I'm but a fragile mortal, a human mother, and

Not some invincible Greek Goddess.

Plain sailing motherhood?

Ah, such a beautiful lie!

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