Poetry

June 5, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Barry Stock photo

 

By

Rita Bhattacharjee

 

 

 

The Unbearable Callousness of Death

 

 

ping

ping

sings your phone

as it nests in its blood-red case

ping

ping

texts flow fast

almost as fast as rounds off a semi-automatic barrel

ping

ping

ma’am, did you request

a dirge

a funeral song

for your child?

your compassionate congressman wants to know

you pray

you wait

you hope

for your phone to go

ping

ping

as you sit in the graveyard on your familiar sofa

rat-a-tat

rat-a-tat

of a killing machine

ringing in your ears.

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Goddess

 

 

She was           born on a stormy night / no conch shell blew

no one laughed / poverty has no place for girls.

 

She was           severed from the womb with a new blade / sterilized as an afterthought

freed of nine months of debt / shackled eternally to penury.

 

She was           a mortal with goddess genes / no one had a clue

raindrops baptized her / drenching her with celestial blessing.

 

Neither a goddess nor a fallen woman is she—

She is Durga! An everyday woman yearning to be free!

 

She was           married at sixteen / forced to be a woman in her teens

feeding mouths was hard / guarding daughters against predators harder.

 

She was           finally home, she thought / wife to a poor man, rich in love

resplendent in red bindi  / glass bangles in happy colors.

 

She was           about to be a mother / her inner child in harmony with the child within

looking expectantly at the door / her family would now be complete.

 

Neither a goddess nor a fallen woman is she—

She is Durga! An everyday woman yearning to be free!

 

She was           told in hushed tones about a bomb on a train / an unholy day she’d never forget

drenched in blood, she howled / her face white as her house of cards.

 

She was           listless as she held her newborn / a tiny fist latching on to her finger

a reminder that life awaited / hope germinated in defiance.

 

She is               Ananya–one of a kind

crisp white uniform / blue ribbons soaring in the hair

black letters taking shape on notebook / her trident poised in anticipation

of vanquishing more demons.

 

Neither a goddess nor a fallen woman is she—

She is Durga! An everyday woman yearning to be free!

 

 

 

 

 

Rita Bhattacharjee

Rita Bhattacharjee is a communications consultant with extensive experience in managing corporate and internal communications for companies across diverse industries, including non-profit organizations. She is the co-founder of Mission Arogya and Arogya HomeCare and has recently relocated from the US to India to channel her skills towards social entrepreneurship to increase awareness and reduce disparity in public health. She also writes poetry, some of which have been included in anthologies and published in reputed international journals, including The Copperfield Review, Contemporary Literary Review, Camel Saloon, Café Dissensus, About Place Journal, and Kitaab.

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Amiya Chatterjee July 03, at 06:23

    Thank heavens you extended your little hand to me. I read your poems with joy,with tears,with laughter and With psychotic whimper.

    Reply

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