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Mainstream, VOL LX No 21, New Delhi, May 14, 2022

The Mothers’ Hour | Sagari Chhabra

Saturday 14 May 2022, by Sagari Chhabra

Just for an hour I want the whole world to stop,
put an end to big business and geo-politics;
I want all the men in power:
bearded, moustached and clean-shaven
to get into a shuttle and encircle space.
Into this haven,
from the shadows will emerge,
only mothers,
who will at once call out to their children!
And the children petrified and terrified,
will at first tiptoe across,
then fling into the arms of waiting mothers.
There will be a terrible wailing,
a flood of tears,
as they cling onto each other,
recounting their ordeal
now stamped with fear.
Then the mothers
will set about feeding
the hungry, traumatized children
milk and porridge,
soft food they can spoon
into their mouths;
without a shout,
they will shred their own clothes,
creating bandages of gauze
to wrap the wounds of men,
gouged by grenades.
There will no time to sit in the shade,
or to even serenade virtue;
the mothers will with fortitude,
serve the grandmas
their diabetic drug;
tucking them into patchwork quilts,
keeping them snug.
They will soothe their petrified gaze
clearing the smoking haze,
letting the dawn enter.
The sun will shine
onto the broken debris,
the shards of metal and glass;
the men in power
will be encircling Mars,
stroking their beards and expansive girths;
they will watch the mothers take over
for just an hour
of peace on earth.

— Sagari Chhabra, 8th May 2022

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