A poem by T. Keditsu from her collection

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By T. Keditsu



Who asks how I want to be taken?

Who asks me if I am ready?

Where I love to be touched

And which parts are out of bounds?


Here I lie sprawled wide open

In the aftermath of repeated assault

Once mighty mountains macerated

Into muddy tears mourning the ravages of rain

My rivers torn from their riverbeds

And cast out to run rampant through frightened forests

Fleeing into frenzied incoherence.


I had lovers once

Who reverently slipped tender saplings

Into the trembling wet of my terrace fields

Hills pregnant with the scent and sweet of Zünhe nectar

In that epoch of trust, taro thrust up towards the sun

Spreading the bodies of their leaves for lovers

In search for their navels, red, black, brown, silver


I had lovers once

Who knew me, my hills, my creatures, my waters, my jungles

Laying with my trees and sleeping  by my streams

Forging paths with the flesh of their naked feet

Lovers desiring my trees returned to their beds

To ask my consent in the realm of dreams


I have no lovers now

Only assailants who do as they wish and take what they want

Unloved, unknown I fade and fall apart

Weak and waiting for someone to ask me

How I want to go? For someone to hear me say

I would like to stay and wait for one last lover


T. Keditsu is a poet, writer and educator. She is co-founder of Centre for Indigenous Knowledge & Alternative Learning (CIKAL) and advocates the revival of Indigenous Naga textiles and women’s narratives through her popular Instagram avatar @mekhalamama. Her collection of poems titled sopfünuo was published recently by Heritage Publishing House. She currently teaches in Kohima College, Kohima.


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