The Fires of Draupadi and Six Children

The Fires of Draupadi
by Swathi Deo Sambatha

Nothing can douse the fire in a woman
For she rose from the ashes
Laughing at the faces of weak men
Who did nothing to help her

She shook her head weeping in the royal court
Causing her dark, curled tresses to fall around her torn blouse
Covering the dark red blood covering on her body
And looked on with the three eyes of anger

And that was all for her guilty husbands
To create a war, a great great war
So terrifying that it will be written
With tears and metallic blood

Weapons and arms strewn everywhere
The stench of thousands dead, men and a woman
Filling the air, as the Empress looked on
For it to unfold as a nightmare for brave warriors

Till she saw her monster and his death
And bathed her dark tresses in his princely blood
Only then did she put up her hair
To that of a royal woman

She loudly proclaimed at the funeral of her sons,
“No one shall protect women from now on,
For we will fight our own wars
And we will win”

Yet, for slighting a woman like that,
One such war is not enough


Six Children
by Swathi Deo Sambatha

Life is beautiful when you are young.
However, my child, it became ugly quickly, didn’t it?
What did you know?
You were a mere child, given a too big a gift

Like your Greek ancestor,
Curiosity was the becoming of your tragedy
For the God of Sun could not disobey the mantra
The power of the gift was such.

You could never utter the truth,
Even in your royal chambers
For the walls could hear your words
So you just weep every night

For you should not be called Kunti the Queen, the mother of five honorable sons,
But of six.

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