Three Poems – by Medha Singh

by TBLM

I Hear Father is Dead in Another Country

One is as old as the days they remember.
Some make us age quicker, better.

Some slow in pace: something between a wish
and a prayer, something

that is both. Some call it hope. It’s not.
Light sweeping the white sand, across

the cool and quiet sea. Here, his consoling hand
on my face; fast arriving, a withered brow,
reaching, touching,

brown, low. A breathing sound follows one here,
to a world ebbing in the cormorant’s lair. He will

never now, come to comb my hair, to save me
from the wrong affairs. There, the long shroud

falls from the sky, drops upon his corpse,
makes its way to the pyre. Loud ash
from other burning bodies

flying in my sister’s hair. Somewhere unknown
among the birds, one will find his verse.

This black hearse grows roots in my bones,
on a continent far, too far from home.

Palm fronds rustle. My eyes close.
My tousled head is made of clouds.

*

Crematorium

At Nigambodh Ghat, who is waiting for death?

Why am I so at ease in this place.
Where death is a detail, not an event.

Hephaestus minds the forge. Hear the largeness
of wheezing echoes in the Electric Crematorium.
A momentum that extinguishes bodies, numbered
to distinguish bodies, release their ghosts.
One, two, three, oar. Charon opens the door.

Look now, here,
a gulping throat withholding
a withering hope.
Is it a dream,
did it implode?

*

At Nigambodh Ghat

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