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Two Poems by Prerna Bakshi: "Minor Changes" and "Size never really mattered that much

woman sister sky

In memory of my beloved sister

Minor changes

Everything is still the same

as you left, just with minor changes.

Like this chocolate-brown colored wooden door

that you would ask me to shut

when engrossed in watching TV,

it had stopped getting shut. Lost its shine.

It’s now all repaired and polished.

Like this bed you used to sleep on, the one

on which we spent countless hours

whispering and giggling at night.

This bed is now heavy

with the weight of your absence.

Its mattress had stopped providing support

for my orphaned back.

The bed is still the same but the old mattress

has now been replaced with the new firmer one.

Like this little red-colored bed side alarm clock

that had stopped ticking

when you left; refusing

to make the familiar tick-tock sound.

It’s now all repaired, it ticks

but just ever so slowly…

(First published in Poetic diversity)

Size never really mattered that much, more than today

Wearing that green and olive color

churidar kameez, dressed in those earthy colors,

you looked like the favorite child of the Mother Earth.

You were the favorite child of our family too.

Though always so humble, never too proud.

My daughter always thinks of me, always thinks of everyone, Papa used to say.

Every time Papa wanted to buy you something, you’d say no.

Your cupboard was filled with old and worn out clothes.

Those that your eight years younger sister once wore.

I had outgrown those clothes, and

you never grew much.

Always weighing 33 kilograms,

the weighing scale outweighed you.

It was hard to find clothes that fit you well.

We were overjoyed that day when we found out

that one did.

That green and olive colored one.

As I stand before this wardrobe and stare at your outfit,

with moist eyes, I notice how small it appears,

as if it’s shrunk. When it’s more likely

that I have grown.

Grown older and wider that is.

Yet, right now, there is nothing more

that I want

than to somehow

fit into this churidar kameez.

Even if it means, I’d have to cut my body into half.

I’d do it in a heartbeat, if I could wear it on your behalf.

It’s been eleven years since you’ve been gone

but I know you’re still with me.

Your shadow

still in this room, right behind

my shoulder,

ever so encouraging,

ever so optimistic,

telling me – I shouldn’t lose hope

that I can still

fit into your outfit.

(First published in The Borfski Press)


Prerna Bakshi is a writer, poet and activist of Indian origin, currently based in Macao. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of the recently released full-length poetry collection, Burnt Rotis, With Love. Her work has been published widely, most recently in The Ofi Press, Chiron Review, TRIVIA: Voices of Feminism and Prachya Review: Literature & Art Without Borders, as well as anthologized in several collections. More here:

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