Listening In and Other Poems

By Geetha Ravichandran

1 – Listening in

If only she had been allowed
to complete her story.
A voice from behind
the shroud of fear
would have fallen
on the plants at the window
and bounced beyond
the rusty gate
and found its own feet
to stand tall.
If only the barrage
of opinions and solutions
had not battered her
into a stony silence.
If only there had been
one person
to lock eyes with her,
let her sit on, on her
rocking horse-
she may have healed.

2 – Walking Away

Before leaving
there is time
to look around
and dust off
all that
happened.
The overgrown rubber tree
where whistling bulbuls hid,
the rose that showed up
occasionally, in the spike
of thorns, the stealthy monkeys
that created a racket
tearing plants and tossing pots
and the sun that made its way
to warm the floor
that bore betrayals,
and all that was never meant to be
would be left behind
by the packers and movers
Maybe, the air of the new home
would waft a swift kindness
to dissolve
the sharpness of memories

3 – Giving in Silence

The ride is bumpy and rattles the bones,
and the burden of memories, curdles the mind.
The landscape passes by in a blur.
Then, the taxi stops suddenly, near a grove
and the driver gets off to feed the monkeys.
Dozens of fresh yellow plantains had been stacked in the boot,
but he had made no mention of this, during the long journey.
He had only spoken of his sister who was crippled
and how she would cook a hot meal, when he reached home late.
They were old and merry friends, the driver and the monkeys.
At last, I reach the farm and the caretaker surprisingly
asks no awkward questions as to why I have come, suddenly alone.
She says, the lemon tree is now free of bugs,
as a mere spray of neem oil has driven them away.

Geetha Ravichandran lives in Mumbai. She holds a full time job and writes poetry on the go. Her recent work has been published in online journals including Borderless, Lothlorien Poetry, Verse Virtual, Failed Haiku and also included in several anthologies. Her poems have also found place in the Yearbook of Indian Poetry. Her first book of poems, Arjavam has been published by Red River.

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