Mother to Child

By Allison Danger

Danke

I set you once upon a pillow

You rolled onto the floor, laughing

Mon cher

There were times I couldn’t hold the door open

Long enough for you to walk through

Amar jahan,

I felt your words sting deep

As the shores from which you were forbidden

Koi?

I always find you here, palms under chin, staring

Out windows, you no longer wish to

Viens

If I could, I would haul the moon and place it in your hands

Every time you felt the darkness pulling you under

Bhuilo-nah

I am here, time rests between the jagged creases of rose

Leaves and when petals begin to rust

Va

Don’t let your imagination run too wild

Or it can get lost

And I’m afraid I won’t be there

To help you find it.

 

 

English Translation 

Thank you

I set you once upon a pillow

You rolled onto the floor, laughing

My dear

There were times I couldn’t hold the door open

Long enough for you to walk through

My universe,

I felt your words sting deep

As the shores from which you were forbidden

Where?

I always find you here, palms under chin, staring

Out windows, you no longer wish to

Come

If I could, I would haul the moon and place it in your hands

Every time you felt the darkness pulling you under

Don’t forget

I am here, time rests between the jagged creases of rose

Leaves and when petals begin to rust

Go

Don’t let your imagination run too wild

Or it can get lost

And I’m afraid I won’t be there

To help you find it.

This poem was inspired by a unit on language, in which poets such as Sandra Maria Esteves and Carol Lee Sanchez decolonized their writing with non-English words.

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