Poetry by Sharmila Pokharel

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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

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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.

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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