Culture & Society

Three Poems On Mother's Day By Moumita Alam

These poems urge the readers to see a woman and her unpaid labour beyond the idea of a mother.

Three Poems On Mother's Day By Moumita Alam


My brothers have shared the picture

on their timelines

of a goddess with ten hands

along with my mother's picture

side by side.

The caption reads-

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't ask the goddess about her 

ten hands

But I asked my mother.

She had no time to think

or answer.

The pressure cooker whistles on.

Everyone wants Biryani to celebrate

Mother's Day!


I woke up

at the sound of running tap water

on the unwashed dishes of the last night

My father was waiting for his morning tea.

My mother running on her toes.

She can't miss 7 am -

my father's breakfast time.

It's the deadline

My mother can't afford to miss!

She has to pass every single day's exam.

Her exam never ends.

My father waits forever for his morning tea cup.


My Mother's Hearth

On this hearth my mother

cooks legacy to pass on

from me, my daughter and so on.

She cooks the smell that I looked for

on her sarees, belly and breasts

when I was a child

and now I sit near her hearth

to soak the same smell with my heart

and soul to preserve my childhood

for my daughter.

I try to learn the art of keeping

the dying flame alive with a fist

of bran

the flame comes alive and my mother's

eyes glitter on.

The chunk of meatballs dance in joy

and the overjoyed drops of broth leap

out on the wings of the hearth.

The same smell of my childhood

passes from my memory to my taste buds.

My daughter embraces me and says -

mamma you smell like Nani.

My mother, me and my daughter

the linearity of unpaid labour

smells sweet in poetry 

written in glorification of the

Mother's Day.

(Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. She has published two poetry collections Musings of the Dark and Poems At Daybreak. She has written poems on a variety of subjects including abrogation of Article 370, Shaheen Bagh protest, Delhi riots etc.)