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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