There's Jews in Texas? & Winegarten

Published by:
Sociosights Press
Austin, TX 78722
28 pages

Cover photo by:
Dr. Era Dabla

ISBN: 978-0-9916327-8-7

Release date: April 7, 2016

Sacred River: Poems from India by Shubh Bala Schiesser

"Shubh Bala Schiesser delves deep into the trove of memory, extracting scenes and voices from her Indian childhood, creating a rich world of elements to be cherished, and occasionally questioned. These are evocative poems springing from close consideration, and love."

Naomi Shihab Nye,
Guggenheim Fellow, Board of Chancellors, American Academy of Poets



Forced Marriage

Soon she will be the property

Of a stranger—a master who will buy her

Like a sheep, goat or cow

From a village stockyard

With a nose ring and brass bells

Ringing on her neck.

Garlands of roses and jasmine

Soon turn pallid and stale.

Nose ring, forehead tika jewels

And fine silks will be memories of youth.

The sacred henna on her hands and feet

Will wash away in no time.

She will learn the words and habits

Of his harem: how to chisel her face,

How to wear a necklace of name-calling

When she forgets a button on his shirt,

Hot water for his bath. When food

Is not cooked to his taste, she will hear

Dishes break while she cracks the knuckles

Of her clammy hands.

Headaches and body-aches

Will be taken as excuses to shirk work.

She will stuff her sari in her mouth

To suppress cries.

She will age before getting old,

Die before death.


Originally printed in Big River Poetry Review 2012

copyright Shubh Bala Schiesser 2016

All rights reserved


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