For my mother, on her 60th birthday
Aanchal Narang

five years before I was born,
my mother found me in a
naming book                           aanchal

a promise given to her          and me
aanchal: mother’s love
begun in its begetting

even then she brought me close to her breast,
kept my name in a still place until I would be whole

my mother named me
to protect me
what protects more than a body

around another’s  a body
lain down and cut up,
then sewn back    to protect anew

to protect what is now outside

aanchal: the cloth of the sari that
holds the baby, cool silk over my head
my mouth on a curve of warm milk
I, hidden

and I grew up hearing my name
in old and new songs,
believing each was written for me

can you be treasured any more?
any more than
when another
is moved to create
when they think of your name?
Aanchal Narang is a writer and artist studying medicine in the Bay Area. She received her MFA in Fiction from Boston University, and is originally from the Boston area. Aanchal loves the body, India, and farming. She has been published in the Protest Through Poetry Anthology. Reach out to her at aanchalnarang13@gmail.com.

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