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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