A pile of kitchen-stove kindling twists
Braids with achamma’s kuttichattan hair ribbon
Creasing her fingers when she crushes a twig
Dew-dropping her brew for new mothers in
Early morning rose-light we sit in her offspring’s
Fresh petals juiced open where they grow and
Grab the adolescent wriggling earthworms
Hard and split the promise of new
In our palms her face gashing
Jasmine with fertile earthworm-mush
Kissing her fingers and the smell of rotting water
Lillies her hair as it strokes every gathered
Mango waiting to be pulped by pulp-fingers
New into viscous dark-earth jam that smells
Of her time measuring out her womb and each
Preserves jar is thrown away every dusk
Quietly by her living daughters afraid of
Rousing achamma’s wailing
Scorpioning rage at this cyclical
Tampering with her
Unspooling offering
Vindication and


Prerana Kumar is an Indian poet doing her MA in Creative Writing at UEA. She has recently contributed to English Heritage’s ‘Untold Stories’ project and has been published in The Writer’s Cafe, Verve Poetry Press’ Community and Diversity Anthologies, and Use Words First.