Listening to Silence

by Srabani Bhattacharya

Listening to silence

The sluggish sway of mosquito nets
Your saree clinging to the sweat of your back
The stuffy stillness before the dawn
The shambles of your heaving chest
Men creeping home in the safety of the sun
The khaki officer clenching his jaw
The flowers dying softly on the ground
The loose hair shifting the shape of your face
The taut veins of your hand clutching the child and the rifle
The mist overcasting my sight
The shock plastered over the half-burnt pillars
Borderlands choking in the soot
Homes crumbling alone on the laps of the hills
The last poppy plants bobbing in the wind
The boys lining up with their bowls at the camp
The brunt of the callously packed belongings
The lines on your black-painted face
Stones weeping on the ravaged streets
The morning reflected on the tear gas shells
The cool strides of the baton wielders
The dirge of fresh dirt over the grave
Knuckles clasping placards that say,
You promised peace.

Author’s Bio:

A poet, editor and copywriter based in Kolkata, writing enables Srabani to be in a constant dialogue with the world around her. She graduated from Jadavpur University in 2019. Her works have been published on LiveWire, KalavaramThe Kali ProjectWalled City Journal and other literary spaces. You can find her weaving words on Instagram @paperbird.me.

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