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Face of the Year

by Prema Sastri
(Bangalore, India)

One eye was green, the other brown.
Cobweb wisps of hair floated down to her ears.
The two halves of the face seemed to belong to
different people.
A toothpaste complexion,
Teeth placed backwards and forwards,
Completed the picture of a specter.

Her family ignored her,
Her classmates ignored her,
Strangers gaped,
Then, they too ignored her.
She became invisible.
Feared there would be no reflection in the mirror
The sound of her voice startled her.
She sat in the corners of the house
Away from the others.

She had two beautiful sisters,
They got married,
They left home.
Her brother got married,
A bride came into the house.
The focus of attention.

No one remembered there was a daughter.
She shrank deeper into the corners.
Till he came.

Her brother`s friend on a visit.
There was nobody at home.
She invited him in.
Offered him tea.
They chatted.
He smiled at her.
Listened, and waved as he left.
After he had gone she went to her room.
Lay down on her bed,
Recalled the sound of his voice,
The light in his eyes,
The touch of his fingers,
As he took the tea cup from her hands,
A strange feeling came over her,
She did not know it was happiness!

They received an invitation to his marriage,
She did not mind.
Those moments were hers.
Wrapped in silk,
Taken out whenever she wanted,
He had given her back her existence.

The sound of her voice,
A reflection in the mirror,
She completed her degree,
Got a job at a department store,
At the cash counter.
All day she rang up sales,
Went home in the evenings.

Nobody knew the difference,
She herself did not know it.
One day led to the next,
Ticked off on a calendar.


To be continued .....
Face of the Year - Part 2

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