by Sunil Sharma

A woman around whom life revolves in a house is no more. ‘She’ is a tribute to that woman. A poem by Sunil Sharma.

A lean quiet river that irrigates
The parched soul in hot summers;
A bunch of dew-covered, multi-hued flowers
Kept in a delicate white vase on a glass table,
Scenting the empty drawing room for hours,
Where a person silently waits, straining to hear
A repeat of the music of dainty footfalls
That echoed daily here, years ago;
Now, fading light, hugging shadows,
And the autumn peeping from behind
The closed windows of the ICU;
She is suddenly remembered vividly
By the prostrate figure lying on the steel bed,
The woman who became a river, vase, sculptured goddess,
Assuming different forms, at various stages, both malleable and firm;
The woman—slender, small and smiling, patient, full of verve,
Working all the time, a clock that regulated their lives, unobtrusive,
And then abruptly stopped;
Time stood still in the house and nothing chimed afterwards;
Shadows lengthened further, silences deepened, the spring failed to arrive,
Only remained, relics of days past,
Few faded photographs, corner shelf,
Pale-grey letters, tied together by a red rubber-band,
And certain moments of joy, inscribed indelibly,
That can never be obliterated by a moving finger,
From a tiny nook of a bleeding heart.

Mumbai-based Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also a bilingual Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur are prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural poet of the year award 2012.

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