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Daai Maa

by Tithi Mukherjee
(New Delhi)

It was raining when she entered and immediately felt the brine bite her tongue.
The room swirled as she tip-toed about trying to avoid stepping on
Scarlet memories scattered all over the whiteness of her eyes.
A wooden swing from long ago creaked as she tried to run away from the noise
And found herself in the arms of a maze of arms and legs and
Talcum powder and the smell of milk,
Both curdled and fresh.
In her veins.
But this is not the milk she remembers.
It came from unknown breasts browned under the sun
That shone unbiased on sinewy arms that
Scrubbed clean the chamber pots of fair,
Infertile bottoms rendered useless
Without their brown skinned habits of summer afternoons
That smiled from behind the swing
And as it went higher and higher,
Into the viscous fluidity
Of the clouds the colour of milk
And home.


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