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Badri Bhikhari


mother’s looking-glass



It spread all over the floor

in splinters.


Just as man

remains a man no longer after death,

a  mirror after breaking

remains a mirror no more.


After the mirror broke


looking for her lost face

remained lost in herself.


Turning to her looking-glass

she would put on

the auspicious sindoor1 and tika2,

the beaded necklace and the bangles,

she’d observe

her blushing countenance.


Looking at the mirror would she reminisce

her youthful times

coursing surreptitiously like the river Seti,

In her mirror was hidden

her beloved world.

With the mirror were lost for ever

all luminescence.



after the breaking of her mirror

that she looked at of mornings and evenings

mother has become for us a mirror

to look at grief.


1] vermilion powder worn in the frontal parting of the hair by married Hindu women

2] a decorative marking on the forehead


Translated from Nepali by Roshan Koirala