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142nd Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Waiting For The Shoots From The Shroud


She also dies
to be reborn in hallucination.

Her spouse’s corpse
is wrapped in a white dhoti.

She makes everything
safe within the walls, slamming

the windows and doors.
Bacteria perform the post-funeral rites

before the burial.
A smoldering Frankincense gulps down

the fetid smell.
She’s one among the multitude who

can’t see *Mangalyaan
landing on the lap of Mars.

No one can alter
the earth’s flat shape in her mind.

Her peace feeds on the
scraps that a pretentious priest drops.

Her lips rain mantras,
yet shoots of life don’t sprout from the shroud.

She waits
within a circle of illusion.

There’s a meaning
in meaningless waiting.

*Mangalyaan – India’s first Mars mission
News clips from Malayalam dailies in Kerala, dated 6th July, 2017, featuring a lady, who keeps her husband’s dead body, wrapped in cloth, without burying, with the superstitious belief that the corpse will get life again, inspired me to pen this poem.

See all the entrants to 142nd Weekly Poetry Contest