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Little Girl Praying


Joanna George, is a student at Pondicherry University, India. Her poems have been published in literary journals such as 'Cordite Poetry Review', 'Parentheses Journal', 'Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review' and others. She says, 'Though I spent most of my time over tea and the glovebox wondering about solar cells, I find a lease of hope in writing poems.

There is a brutal urge for homecoming in my constant complaints

about the complete lack of Indianness in my name.

This feeling of foreignness, not truly belonging, do you understand, papa?

To be named after my mother’s maiden name could have made proper sense,

I am her relic blood after all.

‘Sudharma’- in all languages I know translates to good morals,

a noun with global meaning,

simple name of anyone celebrating the way of life.

But then you wanted it suited to style, and there

mummy dropped her name to the baptism sink and you picked

her a shattered piece of moon, from the Bible – and named her heavenly.

Yet the way papa, your hands swing like a wiper

washing away the rain drops from heavens;

on mother’s side of the bed after she wakes, now tells me, differently;

A story of your search for the maiden you loved once,

before losing her to the wrinkled divine nuptial sheets,

and resurrecting her out of her Indian way of life, in the name of love.

The irony of it all, in your name, mummy I say it aloud for no one to hear,

now that I too am named after the stars, for the world to believe I am one.

Sudharma: Welcome
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