#how are you?

A tribute to my mother in free verse. Hope it will be worthy of all her sacrifices.

You lie awake at night,

as I lie next to you,




in the land of the Death.

If I must be honest,

I was on the border when you turn around

holding me down

and ask me,

How are you?

Your “how are you” means a lot of things –

and what a coincidence, they are all sad things,

bad things,

mournful things.

How I wish to turn your “how are you” into something else.

I can’t bear to see the years gone by on your face –

the years of being abused by your mother,

the years of being abused by your husband, and later on,

the years of sacrificing your freedom for the two children

who could barely support you now.

I’m fine, I wanted to say in my delirium,

but the convulsion and the deafening hallucination

is stopping my sanity to reach you.

I’m fine, mother, I really am fine.

I never wanted to be a lunatic, mother, I never wanted it.

It was just right there on the border, and I happened to carry it with me

when I stared Death straight in the face and gave him the middle finger.

And mother, though you are still smiling,

your smiles grow wearier and wearier each year –

and I am scared of the day – the final moment.

All parties have to end, and I’m not allowed any regrets –

But if I am, mother, my biggest regret is

growing up to be nothing more than an idiot

who is both deaf and blind.

I’m a lunatic, mother, I have always been

since the day I was still inside your womb.

But you see me dying and you pull me through –

Mother, you have become my sanity – whatever sanity that is left within me,

and I’m sorry, mother,

I can never grow to be whatever you want me to be.



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