The Barren Womb – A poem by Rimli Bhattacharya



Three corpses lay in front of the mother,
Tiny ones, they are lifeless,
Once upon a time each one spoke to her,
Now speaks her barren womb.

She fed them from her swollen breasts,
Full of milk then, full of milk now,
For the tiny ones, they are lifeless.
They don’t speak, they are dead,
Now speaks her barren womb.

She sat clutching her last child to her chest,
“I cannot breathe mummy” the girl whimpered,
She looked at her for the last time.

She screamed –

“They all say my womb is cursed,
For I bore all female nippers,
Your sisters have been murdered,
They did not deserve a life,
They deserved death,
They all said,
My breasts ooze the milk which my daughters wanted,
My milk was poisoned.
Child you too will be smothered,
Take my milk for the last time,
I can hear them,
They will stifle you,
Take my milk for the last time,
For I am cursed with a barren womb.”

The little girl joined her sisters,
Milk percolated through her nipples,
When she took the carver,
She cried for her dead girls,
All have shunned her as she bore female nippers.

She shredded her womb,
Blood smeared on the white twill of her girls,
Her barren womb now shredded,
Tears streaming down her eyes –
She joined her girls,
With her barren womb which bore four girls,

The girls deserved death,
So did the mother and her barren womb.


About the author:

Rimli Bhattacharya is a gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, and also holds an MBA in supply chain management. Her essay on mental illness in the anthology “Book of Light”  published by  Speaking Tiger Publications caught much attention in literary circles. Her writings have appeared in several magazines. She is also a trained classical dancer (Kathak & Odisi forms).