Shalini Rao

(Mumbai)

Almost thirty, unmarried


Here I am on the threshold of thirty
An old maid to family, friends and acquaintances
Who've toed the line and produced children
For social respectability.

I've been spared the humiliation
Of being shown around coffee and conversation
That hinges around the books I've read
The music I listen to
While all the boy does is imagine me in bed
Virginal and ripe for his taking.

I've denied relatives the pleasure
Of complaining at my wedding about the food, The presents and the groom's family.
I've puzzled matchmakers
By letting many a good catch
Slip out of my hands
Into the lap of a more willing bride.

Here I am on the threshold of thirty
Not entirely insensitive to a mother
Who prays that I discover
The joys of holy matrimony.

Submitted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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