Poetry: Selections from Shiksha Dheda

Why am I, mother?

When a baby is in the womb and the mother gets hurt, it sends stem cells to heal the mother.  
Why then does it seem like I'm hurting you now, mother?  
Why can’t you see me, mother?  
I have heard your heartbeats from the inside
- synchronised my breathing to its rhythm.
Why can't you understand me, mother?
If only we could abort the living
-  if only I could wish myself
- wash myself away.
Sever the umbilical cord that binds us, still.
Let my veins bleed free.  
Let them bleed dry.
Let me be cleansed of my lineage.
I am standing on the threshold of sanity, mother
It should be raining
       - storming, but it isn't.
I am standing on the outskirts of normalcy, mother
with invisible rain drenching my face.
Who am I, mother?
I am not you.  
I am not me.  
I can’t recognize myself anymore.
So, then I must ask, mother.  
Why am I, mother?


I started wearing gloves so that  
the scars in my mind would be  
hidden from the world,
along with the scars on my hands.
How was I to know that in doing so
I would simply be proclaiming it;
announcing that I was wounded
beyond repair.

Into the light

I wanted to step into the light,
god knows some part of me
wanted to.  
To bask in the sunshine.
To forget all that was dark and cold.
But the light seemed so unfamiliar.
I didn't know how to feel warmth anymore.

Shiksha Dheda is a South African of Indian descent. She uses writing to express her OCD and depression. Sometimes she dabbles in photography, painting, and baking lopsided layered cakes. Her writing has been featured (in/forthcoming) in Brittle Paper, Daily Drunk Magazine, Door is a jar, Luna Luna Mag and Versification, amongst others. She is also the Pushcart nominated author of Washed Away (Alien Buddha Press, 2021)