Mother

Your middle of the night feedings and diaper changes;bleary-eyed concern washes into relief and elation when I look down at you in your cot, and though you fervently toss your head, hunting for your milky prey, you notice me and smile. A brief and spectacular smile. And in that soft moment, in the time it takes for your little mouth to open and stretch into a Cupid’s bow, ready to fire, my insecurities and flaws are rendered meaningless. In this moment, I’m just your mother. The word is a mountain, growing higher and higher when I think of the greatness of your grandmothers, and yet I climb.

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Aisha, I Imagine.

She runs into my arms

all bouncing curls and though I do not see her face

I know her smile is wide and bright

She has no name that I know of yet

But in my heart she knows fame

I know not of her father

whether I have met him or loved him yet

is still a secret.

But she has his wisdom and his breathless laugh

I watch her eyes turn up the same way his does,

I imagine.

A wet kiss meets my face and a laugh rushes

into my ears

My heart leaps and I hold her close

Child of my dreams.

What is your name?

Nesha Usmani

Promises, Ideas, and Dreams.

How is it that, just yesterday, I rose from my bed,

a child of such youth and vitality,

that no age can depict, nor can any number

describe or rationalize?

From the smooth brown skin of my arms,

to the dirt-roughened patches of my knees,

How can such innocence be expressed?

Fire at my heels, questions growing

in fractal like branches;

Where one is, there sprouts three!

Connecting and growing and reaching,

And like the brown and black tangles of

hair on my head, unkempt and carefree,

Curiosity never knew an end.

And now,

Content to stare and wonder,

or hide in dreamless sleep.

The innocence smothered

by the temptations of the world

and the errors of self.

The mind, once insatiable with questions,

with dreams,

Occupies itself with the convenience of today.

Would the child recognize me,

and I, the child?

Would we pass by each other

in ignorance? In relief?

In curiosity?

Would she see something familiar,

or would I look down in shame,

Knowing that I’ve long since

abandoned the promises and ideas

and dreams?

Nesha Usmani

February 1, 2013