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We had Yaks

By Bhuwan Thapaliya

PROMPT—No one noticed ...

We had several yaks

which we brought to the pastures

in the highland in summer.

We used to sell

Yak butter in the villages nearby.

But then my mother

sold all the yaks one afternoon

shuddering in the mountain breeze.

A priest’s son

had an eye on my sister.

He enticed her

with his oratorical skills.

They got married.

My mother doesn’t know

where they are now.

I know but I have

promised me

not to reveal.

My mother is

very fragile and sick.

There is no joy in her eyes,

only silent despair and abject shame

at what she has now become

and maybe at the legacy, she is leaving me

- bleached yak horns, bronze figurines

and an idle of the towering Buddha.

I stay with her and console her.

I know little about my father.


Bhuwan Thapaliya is a poet writing in English from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works as an economist and is the author of four poetry collections. His poems have been published in Wordcity Literary Journal, Pandemics Literary Journal, Trouvaille Review, Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic Initiative (Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University), International Human Rights Art Festival, Poetry and Covid: A Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, Nottingham Trent University, Pandemic Magazine, The Poet, Journal of Expressive Writing, Valient Scribe, Strong Verse, Jerry Jazz Musician, VOICES (Education Project), Longfellow Literary Project, Poets Against the War, among many others.


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