Every morning I wake up; not rudely awakened out of some wonderful dream, but brooding slumber that cheats me of sunlit days, plummeting into a gloomy dungeon.
I stroke the phantom contours of your body; your musk wafting out of crumpled sheets, hits my senses. Your fingers caressing my languorous limbs ignited our passions night after night, as we lost ourselves in a swirling storm of intimacy.
I open the window. The sapling we had planted, now grown but barren, blocks the view beyond; blocks our river, its waves no longer ferrying our love songs to lovers down the years. A hungry little bird hops branch to branch, vainly searching, flees to fertile lands.
A tree, a river, cannot bear fruits of dead seeds.
You and I ate the forbidden fruit. Every time a dream sprouted in the warm primal crypt of my womanhood, mercilessly plucked out, was buried before the infantile cry. You placated me with Brutus’ kisses, pleading constraints to shepherding your flock, while my eyes and womb shed bloody tears.
If I remember clearly, there were three. You do remember those dreams, don’t you? But, you never slept.
The last burial was the final culmination for you. Not even a goodbye.
Outside the window, the tree beckons; I can’t bear the plaintive moans emerging from the dark recesses beneath it. I mourn.
Ominous clouds loomed suddenly that day, swallowing the sun. A terrible cyclonic storm rising from another land sucked you in its vortex, out of my reach.
Everything happens for a reason. You never wished our grandchildren to hear the songs of our love story.
Every day I still leave that window open, hoping, your shadow passing by someday, will tease open the eyes of that slumbering season when love first began.
It was no passing infatuation. It was spring budding, achingly beautiful; feverish dawn when youthfulness burst forth as the songs of our common love, the splendors, and sorrows of which I often ponder upon.
Ingrained in the fiber of my being, it wormed into warp and weft, every cell, in the blood that coursed through my veins, became my life force, lending meaning to my existence. My heart throbbed with love, longing rose to a crescendo, a restlessness springing from deep desires of devotion. Delirious with ecstasy, buoyant songs sprang from my euphoric heart.
Ashes of the roses you tucked in my silky hair, rise as motes blinding bleary eyes, still seeking the same fragrant path. It always was a thorny path but I only saw your green youth, and you the roses of my cheeks, or so I thought.
Sometimes I wander through this room reminiscing, your hand on my waist, as we danced. I shuffle on faded footprints, slipping on streams of purulence, oozing from festering wounds, and struggle to tango alone, with a broken back.
Repeatedly I try to clear the cobwebs of many questions, now meaningless. With intuitive awareness, I had feared all along, that my love would be cursed, as happens to all who love with unguarded abandon.
Dank with fungus overgrowing through crevices, in my subconscious is the same garden where hope had spilled and seeded, wherever we made love. Some blighted blossoms of an aborted spring, bleeding still, weep silently in forgotten nooks and crannies.
Very painstakingly I plastered every crack through which betrayal and deceit had escaped, lest they crept back. Perhaps, I forgot one, through which a crippled longing limped back half-heartedly, dragging hope and some dreams along.
A different season of storms blew away fragmented memories, the aged tree uprooted, left the earth below, an open sepulcher.
Out of the gaping earth, wispy vapors floated, hovered around me, kissing my face softly, tenderly; slowly chiseling away at the stony wall I had built around my heart. It thawed, pulsating again; love and peace replaced regrets and grief.
The resurrected dreams nestled in the warm recesses of my heart awhile, mutually healing, to ascend to other realms with promises of rebirth, through me. This love was a different hue.
I cannot hold the wind in my arms. All that you breathe in, is yours, the rest escapes your grasp. Even what you took in, leaves you the next moment.
Life only ever moves forward.
Bitterness drags backward. Sadness only takes away. I need courage to live till I am here. I need to leave in peace when I do.
The clouds drift away to reveal a brilliant blue sky, the sunlit mountain top smiles at itself in the cool river crooning at its feet, where fertile seeds flourish, birds twitter.
I dream blessed dreams, accept and love myself!
Outside the window, the world beckons!
Life’s like that!
-DR. SUNIL KAUSHAL
This poem won first prize in a short story contest by Sticky Pins, and DR.sunil kaushal was designated Quill Master by Sticky Pins.
Dr. Sunil Kaushal, 77, is a gynaecologist, internationally awarded trilingual poet, writer, translator, blogger, a gold medalist in dramatics, A.I.R. and Doordarshan Medical doctor, Besides being Best Lioness President Asia, she was honoured as Woman Achiever 2019. She has been the Chairperson/President of several organizations, serving the cause of underprivileged women and children in her chequered life’s journey.
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