Inside my mother
I peered through a glass porthole.
The world beyond was hot and brown.
They were all looking in on me –
the cook’s boy, the sweeper-girl,
the bullock with the sharp
the local politicians.
My English grandmother
took a telescope
and gazed across continents.
All the people unravelled a sari.
It stretched from Lahore to Hyderabad,
wavered across the Arabian Sea,
shot through with stars,
fluttering with sparrows and quails.
They threaded it with roads,
undulations of land.
they wrapped and wrapped me in it
whispering Your body is your country.
About this poem
This poem, representing Pakistan, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.