A Mother’s Lament

A fawn called Compassion

Bright eyed, filled with life’s promise

Skipping and playing, as all young things must

on the meadow of wildflowers

Dappled with spring’s soft sunlight

When the wolves came calling.

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her fear

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her shame

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her stranger danger

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her to cover or cower

With a dupatta, with an abaya, with a burqa.

The mother knew these things

All mothers of fawns know these things

She had thought there would be time

Compassion thought the wolves wanted to play

She smiled her winsome smile

That always melted her father’s sternness

She wanted to make them happy

That’s all babies know;

She saw the claws and the teeth

Too late.

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her the names for vagina

She still called it susu

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her words like honour-killings

or gangrape

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her good touch and brutal touch

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her that her fragile body

Was not hers, it was merely a receptacle.

The mother knew these things

All mothers of fawns know these things

She had thought there would be time

Compassion had only just learnt to tell time

But she forgot. She only knew

Pain

Tearing, wrenching, ripping, cleaving, searing

So many many types of pain

She hadn’t yet learnt long division

She wouldn’t need to…

But she learnt multiplication quickly

When the wolves came calling

In multiples.

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her that bad things happen to good people

Her mother hadn’t yet taught her that there is no justice

No fairness

No meaning

No rhyme nor reason

No compassion.

The mother knew these things

All mothers of fawns know these things

She had thought there would be time

Compassion died living a lie.

There was no meadow of wild flowers

Dappled with spring’s soft sunlight

No heaven on earth

No place for young things

The veil had lifted

The temple desecrated

It was a warzone and a minefield

Where vultures would tear at her little limbs

And ghouls would dance on her tiny body

Jostling for space, screeching for attention.

So loud

No one would hear her mother’s keening cry

Or see

Her father’s grief maddened eyes.

The mother knew these things

All mothers of fawns know these things

She had thought there would be time.

Compassion

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