Indian mynas

your mum tells me you’re only 32
and that I, as your wife
need to be more patient with you
understand that you have some growing up to do
she asks – how old am I now? Almost 27?
I have to be a grownup now
talk more, be grateful for what I have, settle down with a family

at the dinner table
she says Indian mynas are pests introduced to this country
parasites brought in by people who didn’t know what they were doing
destroying the environment, a drain on the native species

I nod in silent agreement
I don’t say I already know this
I don’t say a kindly white customer
from my sister’s café
was the first to explain this to me
only she just called them mynas

I wish I could tell your mum to get fucked
but instead I say “this pâté is delicious.”

Laila Nawsheen


Laila is an award-winning Sydney-based writer with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Creative Writing) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons). Her poetry has been featured in Baby Teeth Journal, NWG Inc Pop Up Zine, ZineWest, Eureka Street and will appear in future editions of Quadrant and Going Down Swinging.

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