Tuesday, July 16, 2013


My grandfather’s house
bears witness to the river’s anklets
drunk by its song
she entices paddy fields and dusty dribble
an enchantress who doesn’t age and never stoops
unallured by the coughing of an old red bus
red flags are raised
for a plate of food and rusted brass
for every lump in the throat chokes and digs
a grave for another old woman,
oil soaks a school girl’s hair
her red ribbons braided so tight
that she pays salutation
to everyone she meets on the road.

The man hunched on the milestone
is her uncle who measures
the length of her skirt
a few meters away the church bells ring
and earthen lamps light a prayer for a son
daughters don’t get burial in this land
where they are a liability.
As I pass by, tasting another acrimony,
I hope to never come back to this land
where the soil is still orange
leeched by parasites so petrified.

First published in The Writing Disorder here, Corvus Issue Three here and Bangalore review here


Bhavana Nissima said...

I love these lines best "oil soaks...to everyone she meets on the road"--says so much about how we are bound in minute ways.
I somehow feel if you had ended the poem at "daughters dont get burial in this land"--the effect would have been more intense. Kind of sharp and stilling. Reading a strong feminist poem after a long time...

Roshni AaMom said...

I too especially loved those lines about her braids! Lovely poem!

rinzu rajan said...

Thank you ladies!