I wrote these two poems for the Ekphrastic prompt and didn’t send them in, thinking they probably weren’t what was required. You can read the entries here.

Kohbar of Mithila, painting by Padma Shri Sita devi. Contemporary rendition of traditional Mithila style painting. Photo by Sumanjha1991. CC BY-SA 4.0


The sun shines today

Suns shine for you today,
and the lotus root springs high and virile,

and every moment of this day and the next
for ever and ever amen, the faces will watch,

and you hope they will smile,
not at your pleasure

but at your head bowed in duty
to the tall and mighty lotus root.

Make is swell and quiver, and the sun
will beam on its sprung seed,

or cover your head in the ashes
of consumed dreams
and weep for your lost wings.

A warning

Beware of smiling faces,
of tossed wishes and showered petals,
teeth bared in smiles of complicity
and thoughts only of the coming feast.

They are not for you, child,
they are for the respecting of tradition;
your desires, your pleasure
weigh less than a feather in the balance.

You are a bride not a woman
not even an adult, a child
with no mind of her own,
no right to choose.

Pick a face (they are all the same),
wear it on this day and forever,
painted and moulded like a mask
to cover your fears and your tears.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

11 thoughts on “Sunshine”

      1. Traditions are to held in the same esteem as those sayings that predict what the weather will be like for the next 40 days and 40 nights, statues that weep blood and thunderbolts for sinners.

  1. I agree with all of the above. I read an article recently where the girl was saying how she was only in grade school and she wanted to stay in school not get married, but her family sold her as a bride. And I suppose the same had been true of her own mother.

    1. It’s a clash of mindsets and it won’t end with the perpetuation of traditions that keep women in a servile role. You can’t extend education to all children then force half of them into slavery when they have only just begun it without something disruptive happening.

  2. I wanted to turn this into the wheel of fortune (everything reminds me of a tarot card these days), but I never got around to it. But its still on my list. Your take is a true reflection of what this pretties up, pretending to some kind of equality in the marriage. (K)

    1. I don’t know anything about tarot except the images I’ve seen, and this does look like one of them.
      This looks to me like one of those ‘traditions’ that make up an obligation to look like welcome choice. Like wearing a burqa or not being able to own anything.

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