I am not sure I ever lived, except in this imagined space,
This concoction of words that perhaps make a little sense
To a kindly heart like yours.
If I was never born,
I never died. Was I immortal
Without ever being me, a person with a body, mind and soul,
Like you, but different, a unique variant?
I am no freak, no fiction, once I was a fact,
If Time can be trusted, solar or cosmic.
My tale is sad and simple. Mother’s womb
Was all the world I ever knew
Before I grew to be a person,
Rather than a form of words, your words, this verse.
She cherished and sustained me
Over nine months. She boasted to her man
That she could feel me kicking inside.
If I had lived among folks like you,
I might even have twitted about my ‘kick-start’ into your world.
The x-rays showed me up, a shape, a foetus,
A something or someone not quite understood.
The medicos murmured strange Latin phrases
I never had to learn. Mother swallowed tablets,
Tonics and elixirs. They warned her a to lay off
Sugar and salt and lose weight. But she, poor thing,
Could not resist a treat. Did I imperil her,
Unconsciously sneaking into a world I never made,
Never could have imagined?
Poor Mother wanted to smuggle me in,
A licit immigrant with a lifelong visa.
“The whole earth is our hospital”, said your T.S. Eliot.
They would not admit me, a casualty,
Immune to oxygen mask and ventilator,
Dismissed with an exculpating sentence:
“Dead on arrival”.
– – – – –
© Ananta Madhavan