A Flaming Saga of a Soul on Fire

In this evocative verse Mamta depicts the pain and agony of women. A dark poem with a ray of light, a slice of hope, at the end.

Grief familiar soul
Sets herself ablaze
A tiny match box and a big can of kerosene
Her spirit snuffed earlier than the actual demise 
She moaned for long
Sepsis had set in third degree burns
The attendant nurses held napkins to their noses
The putrefied wounds held her captive
Finally her organs failed to take in anymore
It was autumn

The wind howled at dusk
Fanning the fire
The dry leaves fell
Scattering on the sizzling flesh
Quickly reduced to ashes
More than burns it was trauma
You died struggling just as you had in life 
Dying before the allotted time isn’t easy

Had I known
You were planning your exit
I would have stopped you
But I was too small    
To take your life in my hands 
Too young to tell you to stay
You couldn’t have heard me
You were beyond all reason
A victim of perpetual battering

His family sulked
Your humble origin unsavoury
Birth to four daughters made it worse
Your pock marked face an eyesore
Your younger sister far more bewitching
You sensed more than the obvious
Till you could not take it anymore
Was it Papa who helped you ignite the fire
To let you go without a trace?

Yellow orange blaze
Scorched everything it touched
My childhood, my youth, my adult years  
Carried within my simmering receptacle 
Every hour spent over the kitchen-stove an agony
The smell of roasting meat over the grill at barbecue nauseating
Death often lured me 
To punctuate life’s unbearable moments
By going up in flames

Isn’t that easy
To die before you have lived
Life is harsh from dawn to dusk
A woman dies multiple times
Your untimely planned demise tutored me 
To tread on hot searing embers each moment
Enduring than escaping life
I have to protect myself even more fiercely
A feisty life is kicking inside my womb.

©Mamta Joshi

Pix from Net.

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi

Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on every day life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been
interacting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.
Mamta Joshi

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