My mother taught me
to keep safety pins
for keeping the pleats of sarees in order and
tucking the anchal in my petticoat perfectly
to not let my waist be visible
in front of their fragile greedy eyes.
She is always cautious
always worried for
my plump breasts may
cause a storm in men’s gullible hearts!
I have taken the name literally.
I have grown safety pins
in my nipples and bush
Now safety pins hang from my navel
elbows, nails everywhere.
Next time when a man returns home
with pinpricks all over his body,
before giving balm to him
be assured he has not come my way
Now I’m the queen of the safety pins.
Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. Her poetry collection, The Musings of the Dark was published in 2020. The book has about a hundred poems written in protest against the humanitarian crisis from the abrogation of Article 370, the Delhi riots, and the Shaheen Bagh movement to the unbearable sufferings of the migrant labourers due to the unplanned COVID-19 induced lockdown.