Mama’s princess

by Fizzah Abbas

Such a sad song!

I often say this while wiping my tears

on my mama’s handkerchief.

My cousin always nudges.

It’s a romantic song, silly,


I smile every time,

when she says that.

Yeah, it’s a romantic song

but have you noticed the melancholy in her voice?


Oh c’mon, you’re too sensitive.


Sen-si-ti-vi-ty – 5 syllables, 5 vowel sounds,

with the repetition of i three times.

‘Sexy’, ‘Body’, ‘Sexy’ – the voice rings in my ears,

‘i’, ‘not ready’, ‘do’-, ‘no’-, ‘for’– ‘me’, ‘i’,

10 vowels, 1 guy. 

I was his sister-in-law’s favourite student,

‘I’ before that day, ‘i’ now.


You are mistaken, dear,

he reads the Koran daily.


You’re right, mama.

My body is a Holy verse

where he needs to emboss a print, I agree.


Your teacher said,

he considers you like his daughter.


Of course, he does.

A nuclide formed by the decay of another.

Birthmark the same, identity different.


It must be a ‘slip of the hand’,

he is not a harasser


Remember dad’s funeral when J took me upstairs

to show me the stars, too, are mourning?

He gave me a warm hug,

so warm mama, I could feel his tush,

it was kindness, yes.

And when uncle K called me into his room,

he genuinely meant I look good in pink.


Tell me something, mama,

has papa ever been this kind too?