She Remembers
Category Winner | Personal Expression
Author: Samra Khan
Season 6

In love and loss, a life nearly spent,
She now carries an old-person scent,
Wrinkled hands and drooping shoulders,
Eyes bearing witness to lengthy forevers;
She can’t recall but always remembers.

One daughter’s skin now sags around the neck,
Another’s life has been a shipwreck,
She held a dying son when he was twelve,
And another, when he lost a leg,
After burying an unmoving baby-girl herself.

She forgets her breakfast and sometimes our names,
But remembers all her childhood games,
She forgets the meds she has to take,
But remembers the nights she spent awake,
She remembers the heartbreak,
She never forgets the pain.

“We bought eggs for half a nickel,
Swapped milk for a jar of pickle,
I bought nine yards of sky-blue georgette,
Embroidered it with threads of violet,”
She wore it for Eid; she’ll never forget,
How she broke her fasts at sunset.

She mourns when she reminisces,
Dreams of forgotten dreams she cherishes,
Her recollections are threaded with today,
Her heart remains in yesterday,
Her gaze often wanders far away,
I watch her forget, I watch her pray.

In tears and joy, an eternity flew by,
Her daughter is now a grandmother,
A son lives with one leg, and another battles cancer,
She forgets her name or if she had a brother,
She remembers giving birth, and another;
She never forgets that she’s a mother.

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