ANOTHER WOMAN BY MS.IMTIAZ DHARKER
This morning she bought green 'methi'
in the market, choosing the freshest bunch;
picked up a white radish,
imagined the crunch it would make
between her teeth, the sweet sharp taste,
then put it aside, thinking it
an extravagance, counted her coins
out carefully, tied them, a small bundle
into her sari at the waist;
came home, faced her mother-in-law's
dark looks, took
the leaves and chopped them,
her hands stained yellow from the juice;
cut an onion, fine and cooked
the whole thing in the pot
over the stove,
shielding her face from the heat.
The usual words came and beat
their wings against her: the money spent,
curses heaped upon her parents,
who had sent her out
to darken other people's doors.
She crouched, as usual, on the floor
beside the stove,
When the man came home
she did not look into his face
nor raise her head; but bent
her back a little more.
Nothing gave her the right
She watched the flame hiss up
and beat against the cheap old pot,
a wing of brightness
against its blackened cheek.
This was the house she had been sent to,
the man she had been bound to,
the future she had been born into.
So when the kerosene was thrown
(just a moment of surprise, A brilliant spark)
It was the only choice
that she had ever known.
Another torch, blazing in the dark.
We shield our faces from the heat.
BY MS.IMTIAZ DHARKER
Ms.Imtiaz Dharker was born in Lahore in Pakistan in 1954 and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. She is ranked on par with some of the famous women poets of India such as, Kamala Das, Sujatha Bhatt and Tara Patel. She is not only a poet but also a painter and an accomplished documentary film maker. Her collections of poetry include Purdah, Postcards from God, and I Speak for the Devil, The Terrorist at My Table and Leaving Fingerprints.