“My First Birthday Was in an Orphanage” by Kashvi Ramani

Kashvi Ramani (age 15)


Children here              prayed to Atlas;
The sky weighed                      on their shoulders.
And their hands never                      tasted water.
“There is              a drought.”
My country is famous                      for loose lips and limp lies.
The cake slipped              across the wooden expanse
A solitary              pink rimmed candle
And they clustered before      the pink blended with cream
When the world              weakened,
Children laid        on beds of sod
Nightmares almost sweetened      to dreams—
But her eye still              darted.
The eye belonged to              Lady Macbeth
One of the orphanage’s own finally              blood-free
Only six                    but aging rapidly—
She peered                into my crib
And pulled back                      wool;
weighty,                    whispering.

from 2022 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Kashvi Ramani: “Writing poetry to me is a way to put the messy, unseen aspects of my thoughts onto the page. By beautifying what I was previously so apprehensive to expose to others, I am able to recognize what I need and how I can improve. In addition, I always wrote poetry for myself. But more recently, I have realized that the written word is a medium where I can amplify the voices of individuals whose struggles will otherwise never get recognized.”

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