‘Our Light Hearts’ by Mandira Pattnaik

Me and my sportive mum
Out on a beach run
To forget the despair
that set off that day
when Mum was struck
off the payroll
where she packed
kerchiefs for another world
‘coz there was strife somewhere?
or people didn’t use kerchiefs anymore?
or mum didn’t wear lipstick to work!
For a moment we did thrive
on our meal for the night.
Sickly spinach, empty jars —
stared, sorry for us.
The air began to throttle;
No! No! Not again!
We wriggled free
laughed it off
As promised to dad
we wouldn’t be sorrowful again….
The beach was a cake, freshly baked
sugar and syrup just perfect
sun sprinkled a golden dust
we let our feet do the cut.
Wind on our face,
strains of music
two of us clasping hands,
our hearts are light,
rhythm and warmth
spread-eagle over our thoughts.

Mandira Pattnaik writes poetry and fiction in India. Her work has appeared in The Times of India, Eclectica Magazine, Door is A Jar, Runcible Spoon, Lunate and (Mac)ro(mic) among others, and is forthcoming in Cabinet of Heed and Fiction Kitchen Berlin. If she can find the time, she tweets at @MandiraPattnaik.

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