Oct/Nov 2019 Poetry Special Feature


by Mandira Pattnaik


Ochre day,
      Hereto folds himself
            Like a paper boat,
                  to ease his hunger pangs. Watches
                        the Hwang-ho
                              his mother died trying to cross, trying to survive,

Moments slip from the fist of time. He's just a boy.

Azure skies,
      birds, white blobs like whetted cream.
            Hereto squirms in pain. The fishing rod
                  his father used on his back, his new mother indifferent,
                        traced indelible lines.

Pain seeps slow but deep. He's just a boy.

Indigo night,
      supper broth rushing through his veins,
            Hereto writes,
                  to his dead mother
                        unsure of the weave of words,
                              on parchment paper saved from the last millennia.
                                    Not lyrics, only cries. Melting heart.

Drains him, ignites him, spark that started the wildfire. He's just a boy.

Achromic pause.
      Hereto whets a blade
            on the stone floor
                  grits his teeth,
                        examines the sharpness.
                              "As you brew so you must drink"

Crimson spills. In his father's room. Hereto's no more just a boy.


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