Like a water drop
inside a flower,
the unsaid, ungiven
in held
between rites
of death and love.

remain unknown to him
whose name
tangles with the night
flower, drawn in henna.

Death wore the colors
of her wedding dress.
Look, how black it is now!
How the lilacs and roses
on her face wilted:
un-kissed unseen, unblest.

The groom was no more
than a young boy.
His mother strikes a blow;
her grief is a demon.
She blames
the bride in red.

She must not be wedded
to death; the fruit
of her womb will grow
in human nature.

The final fading of henna
on her palm will make
her weep for him.

She must live to tell
this unspeakable tale
to her granddaughter.

When rain clouds 
gather over Doda hills,
in the eye of the storm
she will see his face once,
then a flash of lightening

will brighten the path
away from the shelter,
their baskets filled with
fruit, vegetable, firewood.


© Lalita Pandit, June 25, 1998

Priya - Summer rain - The city of dread
Sukeshi has a dream - The rishi - Self spectre

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