I returned once

15462B9E-4695-43BF-9127-4E84BF36B1F8I set out once,

looking for the mangroves

with haunted stories

about the withered woman

with feet that turned in and jingled

the mangroves

with secret spells

hovering over lamposts

the mangroves where

boys scuffled and

where men gathered

to grope for survival

the mangroves

that displaced the rotten

smell of burning flesh

as each canopy collapsed

into an ashen pile

I waited,

to enter the looming gates

of the house that echoed

my mother’s desires

in hidden gold and treasures

the house that watched, silent

the gates that creaked

each howling creak

recollecting a plea

pleas of bruised bodies

and naked shadows

still lingering behind

it’s walls

I walked,

the platform again

chugging wheels, that

recited memories of trains

moving like ghosts

between places, bringing ghosts

the platform I walked again

covered me in soot

of butchered history

I lifted,

some soil along with some scars

I opened,

the tall gates

and entered against my will

into the verandah

to my beginnings

I swaddled myself with,

the elegance of my mother

the industriousness of my father

the grit of my brothers

the sacrifice of my sisters

the flawlessness

of their songs

as they chanted, possessed

to their dead

and their crippled

and their humiliated

and their young, and new born


I bow in thankfulness

and accept the warm

tea served by the lady

in the verandah


NaPoWriMo 2018

Historical event

Published by Kashiana

I am a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. One poetry collection - Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words and a chapbook, Crushed Anthills. Always gathering poems, and letting them marinate and change shape and form.

One thought on “I returned once

  1. It reminds me of visit to my ancestral house at Sillanwali in- Pakistan.
    The stories of vanishing ghosts , beautiful fairies and transforming Nagins who so often followed my tall handsome father during his morning walks came rushing to my mind .A few hours stay there was like living through ages of glorious past of my parent
    Have beautifully expressed the emotions of millions of us who had to leave their ancestral homes in 1947. Excellent historical piece of literature


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