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Face of the Year-Part 3

by Prema Sastri
(Bangalore, India)

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Face of the year - Part 3

She was waiting in their bedroom.
Wearing a satin wraparound.
That came off easily.
He did not like to wait for what he wanted.
She was expected to be ready for him.

She was ready,
He did not come.
She had seen pictures of him with a young starlet,
With long hair,
Long legs,
Eyes fixed on him.
Hungry, Eager.

She pressed her hands on her chest,
To hold in the pain,
Prevent her from seeing pictures
Of him sitting at the desk,
Calculating the amount on cheques coming in.
His look on her,Unseeing.
His tone,
Was he the same with the starlet?
She pressed her hands tighter;
She must not think.

She rang for the housekeeper,
The woman had an ailing husband.
Disobedient children,
Bunions on her feet,
She was real.
Not wrapped in tissue paper,
When the housekeeper came in
she went to the drawer.

Pulled out a wad of notes,
Dropped it into arthritic hands,
Pushed the startled creature out of the door,
Locked it,
She went out on to the balcony.
The grounds were a carpet of light,
Shining on the clubhouse,
Landscaped gardens,
The swimming pool,
None of which she had used.
Her apartment was twelve storeys up,
Her descent would be swift,
A free fall.
Then silence and bliss,
She went towards the railings.
Flower pots blocked her way.

Roses and marigolds in full bloom,
She had planted them herself,
Watered them every day,
Seen them grow,
They watched her like silent sentinels.
Something moved,
It was a butterfly,
Black and white,
Hovering on an orange marigold,
No butterfly could fly that high.
Yet, there it was,
A black patch on a sunny circle.
It rose and flew over the railing.
Defying gravity.
She knew then that she too could rise.
By herself.
Beyond him.


To be Part 4

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