'The Female of the Species' by Gauri Deshpande
Sometimes you want to talk— 'The Female of the Species'
about love and despair
and the ungratefulness of children
A man is no use whatever then.
You want then your mother
or your sister
or the girl with whom you went through the school,
and your first love, and her –
first child – a girl –
and your second.
You sit with them and talk.
She sews and you sit and sip
and speak of the rate of rice
and the price of tea
and the scarcity of cheese.
You know both that you've spoken
of love, despair and ungratefulness of children.