GRIEF DOES NOT DIE it melts it runs it smells and then it dissolves grief I am sorry to say is beyond shelf life it outlives us all. Please don’t be surprised if you see it smirking through your years pitching in moments of relentless tapping of bristling laughter unguarded affection and invincible ties. Grief asks you not to surrender. “I am here to stay,” it taps on your chest and keeps you agog at night. Grief walks in at odd times when you are just settling in it steps inside and howls like a cyclone Tauktae bound by seasons of melancholy it rips you open and as you chug along with crushed smiles for all to see and you to bear eyes, ears, lips, breasts the falling of tears and the stepping aside of strangers in a bus or the train compartment, at the shopping mall, roadside paan thela*, inside the classroom, in the middle of everywhere it stalks you, unattended, forlorn. *A cart selling betel leaves HARD TO FIND I am good Amma holds her heart inside her fist. It is a cold Sankranti* for her and my only son struggling with dysgraphia rattles the mobile number of his father. A lullaby whines and I see her riding in the submissive dark with eyes flipping at unknown bridges. There is water everywhere The sky is full of treasure and the earth has returned all her dues. To wind she had her smiles to offer, wings, furs, tapioca, coconut shells syllables, ragas, laughter, and stray wounds there is enough to last a lifetime, Till date nobody knows where she has stored that gift of fire. *Sankranti is a harvest festival
Ranu Uniyal is Professor of English at University of Lucknow. She is a bi-lingual poet and Chief editor of Rhetorica, a literary journal of Arts. She has published four poetry collections: Across the Divide (2006), December Poems (2012), The Day We Went Strawberry Picking in Scarborough(2018) and Hindi Poems Saeeda Ke Ghar (2021) and has read her poems at international literature festivals and conferences. She was on a Writer’s Residency in 2019 at Uzbekistan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: ranuuniyal.com
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