Savage Daughter of the East

Two Poems

I

Ancestry. Animism. Artistry.

Lush green fields –
Where my father grew up.
Harvest season –
From boyhood to the working man.
Farmers under the winter sun,
Bringing sheaths of golden rice home.
Light the hearth,
Cook on fire with spoonfuls of love.
A meal from the All-Mother.
Sleep to the sounds
Of Nature’s lullaby.

II

Ambition. Awareness. Affection.

The heart still longs to reach distant lands
To reminisce about moments
In sepia-tinted photographs –
Dappled in sunlight.
To write again and again
About my days of being wild.
A savage daughter of the East.
I will not be a woman owned
By a man.
Thy kingdom comes. Thy kingdom goes.
I remain in the lap of my land.
I am the patriarch’s worst dream.
I am the homecoming queen
I am the woman you raised
On a diet of silence.

Sudeshna Rana is a writer, poet, and editor with an MA in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. Her work appears in the Narrow Road Journal, Feminism in India, Cocoa & Jasmine Magazine, and Red River Publishing. Her piece on female friendship will appear in an anthology published by Yoda Press. A recipient of the South Asia Speaks 2022 fellowship, she is currently writing an ecofeminist account of Dhanbad, the coal capital of India.