Sharmila Pokharel, Poetry

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Up Until Then


I hated my mother for being unwise,

Uneducated, and under his thumb


I compared her with my father

Disliked more for not knowing

Anything about my grades


My mother said she was by herself

In one corner of a dark room

When she gave birth to me

No midwife, no sterile knife


Up until then, I hated her for telling

the same story again and again


And there I was,

In a high-tech hospital room

With a lady doctor and a dozen nurses


Giving birth to my daughter

When I aligned entirely

With that excruciating pain

Breathless and helpless.


In that moment,

I was proud of my mother


Return to WordCity Monthly’s October 2020 issue…


Sharmila Pokharel is the author of three collections of poetry including My Country in a Foreign Land, a bilingual poetry collection (co-translated by Alice Major) published in 2014.

She is a co-author of Somnio: The Way We See It, a poetry and art book published in 2015. Her poems have been published in a few journals in Nepal and Canada. She has received various prizes including the 2012 Cultural Diversity in the arts Award and ENSAS Engineering Literature Writer Award.

Sharmila Pokharel was born in Kharpa, Khotang, Nepal and immigrated to Canada in 2010. She credits her father for encouraging her to express what she feels in words. Besides poetry, she has written short stories and articles. She has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She lives with her husband and daughter in Edmonton.

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