War Baby Comes to America
By Faizah Uddin
My grandmother births
in hiding. In 1971. In what will become Bangladesh.
Born from bloodshed.
My grandmother’s firstborn son
Hides elsewhere. Grandfather sets his rifle
against the soldiers slicing pregnant women open
And slicing women open
Life comes through amongst death.
The midwife lays a wet red baby against my grandmother’s chest
born in blood.
The family names her Lovely.
Grandfather calls her war baby.
Born from blood, Bangladesh becomes Bangladesh.
My mother tells me her birth story
And she tells my birth story here in America.
Doctors sliced her open and pulled me out,
and laid me on her chest.