This poem is inspired by the Hindu tradition of worshipping pre-pubescent girls (kanyas) as a manifestation of the purity of the goddess Durga who represents strength, motherhood and the victory of good over evil. Once a year, during the Navratri celebration of the nine forms of Durga, the kanyas are treated as goddesses: delicious food is prepared especially for them, and their feet are washed. On reaching puberty, however, Durga is said to have vacated their bodies, and they are no longer celebrated as the pure, symbolic form of the goddess.
Every year I waited For that one day When Mummy Papa got out of bed Before I left for school. That one day When my feet were the only thing Their hands touched. That one day I was Durga. Then one year I lost that day too. When Mummy called Swati Aunty's little girl To be her Durga. "Mummy Did I do something wrong?" "Mummy I'm sorry." At some point That night It hit me. "Mummy Is it the blood?" "Mummy I'm sorry." "I don't know Why this is happening." "Make it stop. Make it stop. I want to be your Durga again."