Our Last Embrace


By Prerna Bakshi

With no lullabies to sing,

no stories to tell,
no songs remembered,
I rock the cradle gently,
hoping it will stop you from crying,
but you continue to cry.

I lift you up,
bring you back down again,
kiss you on your cheek and then back up again.
I do this several times,
hoping it will stop you from crying,

but you continue to cry.

I try to feed you.
Pat your tummy.
Talk to you.
Play with you.
But none of this works,
as you continue to cry,
you continue to cry, cry, cry, cry, cry,
until Amma speaks to you
in your tongue – the mother tongue.

Originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review


Prerna BakshiPrerna Bakshi is a sociolinguist, writer and interpreter of Indian origin, presently based in Macao. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been published widely, most recently in Red Wedge Magazine, Off the Coast, Yellow Chair Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Kabul Press, Peril magazine: Asian-Australian Arts & Culture and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, as well as anthologized in several collections. Her full-length poetry collection, Burnt Rotis, With Love, which was recently long-listed for the Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in the UK, is forthcoming from Les Éditions du Zaporogue (Denmark) later this year. She can be found on Twitter.


Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak