September 13, 2017

Three Poems by Anshu Choudhry: "My Green Blooded Siblings," "When I put on My Aunt's Coat," and "The Mother's Youth"

Anshu Choudhry holds degrees of Masters level in Mathematics and English. She is based in New Delhi, India and works for the Government of India. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several Indian and international magazines and journals, including Kritya, Ken*again, Full of Crow, Asian Signature, Muse India, East Lit, Hans India, Setu Journal, Silver Birch Press, and anthologies amongst others.

Photo submitted by Daginne Aignend

My Green Blooded Siblings

When I pass by the posts
of monotony your pride waves
a goodbye. No work to your idyllic
reality and my dream sweeps away, lost
in the pendulum---you sway, the wind’s
caress your chatty recourse to
nihilism. I wonder when I return, if
I would find you as cheerful, laden
with vainglorious contempt for
the wheels running my hands and
feet. That we are of the same genus ---your
silent mawkish refrain for my rolling
dignity as I hurtle a day out of static
life sealed behind Sisyphus’s rock. Blessed
you, of the green blood, your sap
flows through the pores of earth. And
in the last hour of my flesh, I will feed
you the dried drops red and blue. My filial
duty after a lifetime of perfidy.

When I put on My Aunt’s CoatShe must have been          using it
and it is how she came to reside
in the folds          coming through
my breath, her sweat alive
as musk, rubbing
my cheek after
fifty years           in an iron grave.

I am a mummy
embalmed in her fragrant oils,
preserved, imperishable, swaddled
in the             casket for eternity.

At the height          of youth
she was short
now holds smug, hugging
me in the tight embrace of lovers
even as I resist
the overture        but she prevails.

Her warmth securing me,
containing my overgrowth
the offshoot, that crossed
the garden wall. She has become
the vine        that vestures

the stubborn aloof branch
        trying to outlive
and I seduced, subdued, succumb
to her size, shrinking myself
to fit her                be her
as my body enters her soul.

The Mother’s Youth

She sits watching her stories
flitting by light controlling
buttons in her hand. The
unguent in the other
smearing the arm and five
gnarled fingers. It would then

be the hot blanket
smoldering the sunken
withered tissue violet dappled
as she tries to burn
it black. She knows how
to mend broken arms and oil rusted
knees, I am
sure as she doubts

the days when she carried
ten kilo flour bags in one
and another ten of her kitchen, heavy
with hope, in one trip. With
a swipe swatted the scorpions
and took the stings. She

was drunk
on their venoms and he
on fermented treacle and
she lived, through his death. The flush
of her therapeutic pills
no less

than the old rouge
that lies in the drawers
faded, unused. She seldom looks
in the mirrors to hold her breath
while I feel breathless
under the weight of her medals.

© Anshu Choudhry

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