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Remember How

"Our mothers were jeweled / in nose pins and brass hoops"

Published onNov 15, 2020
Remember How

Our mothers worked in
soot furnaces late into nights
until their skins became
reflections of the fire
before them.

They patted their blistered hands
with lavender oil and honey
before the morning began — yet again
they would disappear into their
small factories
like little glowworms
in the sun-streaked woods.

Our mothers chopped and cooked
pots of curry in the hours between.
They tied our hair up in petite buns
as their own so they would not
fall when we snaked around
the banyan tree or tugged at 
its upturned roots. 

They hung smoked lanterns 
wrapped with black wires 
against the brick walls. 

Our mothers were jeweled 
in nose pins and brass hoops 
that weighed down their 
thinning ears — they glinted 
in the hot sun 
like burnt sienna 
on their ashen skins,

their bangled hands still chalked 
with white carbon 
off bundled lilies they wore in their hair 
on another day.

Anannya Uberoi (she/her) is a full-time software engineer and part-time tea connoisseur based in Madrid. She is poetry editor at The Bookends Review, the winner of the 6th Singapore Poetry Contest and a Best of Net nominee. Her work has appeared in The Birmingham Arts JournalThe Bangalore ReviewThe Loch Raven Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal.

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