Kishwar Naheed

(1940 / Bulandshahr / India)

A Palace Of Wax - Poem by Kishwar Naheed

Before I ever married
my mother
used to have
Her fearful screams shook me
I would wake her, ask her
'What happened?'
Blank-eyed she would stare at me.
She couldn't remember her dreams.

One day a nightmare woke her
but she did not scream
She held me tight in silent fear
I asked her
'What happened?'
She opened her eyes and thanked the heavens
'I dreamt that you were drowning'.
She said,
'And I jumped into the river to save you'.

That night she lightning
killed our buffalo and my fiance.

Then one night my mother slept
And I stayed up
Watching her open and shut her fist
She was trying to hold on to something
Failing, and willing herself to hold on again.

I woke her
But she refused to tell me her dream.

Since that day
I have not slept soundly.
I moved to the other courtyard.

Now I and my mother both scream
through our nightmares.

And if someone asks us
we just tell them
we can´t remember our dreams.

[Translated from urdu to english by Rukhsana Ahmed]

Comments about A Palace Of Wax by Kishwar Naheed

  • (4/9/2012 8:52:00 AM)

    Took me 2-3 readings, and reading of your biography to actually comprehend the real meaning. Very well conveyed. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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