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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