No Place for Stones

    by Gauri Dixit

    Our memories are crowded

    With

    Great grandmother’s jewellery
    Passed down the generations
    Great grandfather who supported his entire family after his father’s demise
    Grandmothers
    Who cooked
    Grandfathers
    Who enjoyed reading
    Mothers
    Who sang
    Fathers
    Who scolded A

    Non conformity
    Is picked out like small stones from the grain
    And thrown away
    You can reminisce about the stones all you want in the dark of the night
    But these can’t see the light of the day

    The uncle who cooks is labelled a ‘Baylya *’
    The grandmother who reads is labelled ‘Purushi **’
    The father who cries is weak
    And the mother who writes poetry is bold ( with an ugly tone)

    We systematically pick all the stones out
    Before grinding the grains to make a homogenous flour
    Forgetting that memories are not stones
    They are the colours, the vitamins essential for our health

    * Baylya : A man who shows feminine traits / does tasks that are labelled to be female tasks

    ** Purushi : One who exhibits male characteristics

    Gauri Dixit lives in Pune, India. When not busy working in her office, she is busy being a traveller, climbing mountains, walking on untrodden paths, capturing the voice of a solitary flower blossoming from a rock or the bird sitting on a hanging branch, sometimes the setting sun or the sea in her camera as well as in the words she weaves. Her poems speak in a voice which is unique, cold and direct . She has been a part of many anthologies and is a Reuel Prize awardee. She has had commendable mention at Destiny’s Poet UK. In her first book, ‘In My Skin, I Find Freedom’, there are poems on varied subjects, yet there is a common thread of a skeptical questioning mind of a free woman.

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