Nikhita Makam

The women of my family 

The women of my family taught me
to smile, but not with my teeth
they taught me to smile with my eyes
no matter how tall
to never look down
no matter how difficult the challenge
to never look away
they taught me how to choose fruit
and how to choose friends,
oddly enough a common rule 
of never judging by looks alone
they told me about staying quiet
but they spent years having their voices
put a lid on 
they taught me and now 
I carry their breath
I carry their screams 
I carry the words they were never allowed to say
and everything they were never allowed to dream
they taught me how to whisper
louder than how to yell and 
they never taught me how to put a lid on.

About the Author: Nikhita Makam is 16 years old, too young to know much but too old to get away with things. She is the author of ’14 works by a 14 year old’ and calls herself a ‘high school student by day, poet by night’. Nikhita loves octopus. Her works have been published or are forthcoming in The Hearth, Idle Ink, CTJ, The Weight Journal, Rare Byrd and elsewhere. You can find her creating an oreo cult, wondering about ladybugs or plotting world domination. She tries her best to maintain a balance between all of her hobbies, editing for Catharlic Lit, and battling the common dreaded enemy to all high school students – homework.