In memory of my beloved sister
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.
still in this room, right behind
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: http://prernabakshi.strikingly.com/