Poetry

July 17, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

PTI photo

 

By

Rita Bhattacharjee

 

 

 

Prayers for a Miracle in Mandsaur

 

 

Fight!

Fight for your life, little girl –

it’s time for your superhero genes to transform

your frail body into a phoenix flower

that flames on in the darkness

like a million fireflies.

 

Fight!

Fight for your life, little girl –

it’s time for your little seedling to grow

into an evergreen tree

that germinates anew after being felled

every single time.

 

 

 

 

 

To Asifa

 

 

come back once more, little girl

come back once more to earth

but this time, do not return as a woman

like you have for thousands of years

do you not remember

how you had to walk through fire to prove your worth

to your countrymen?

do you not remember

how you were turned into stone for a presumed betrayal

by your husband?

do you not remember

how you were dragged by your hair and disrobed by men

in your own family?

do you not remember

how gods, kings, and men have

used you

ravaged you

crushed you

in the name of

religion

statesmanship

society

since the beginning of time?

 

come back once more, little girl

come back once more to earth

but this time, do not return as a woman

come back as a tree in a remote forest

where men haven’t ventured yet

come back as a tree

that will live for hundreds of years

and not be razed after eight summers

and if there comes a time when

men covet you as a tree

and chop you into pieces once again

at least, your screams will be silent

and not ring in my ears

like they do now

echoing

clamorous

desperate

to be heard.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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