She Sang Spring
(A Short Story in Verse)
by Geetashree Chatterjee
The Wilting Flowers
She sang spring while I saw winter in the shadows of her eyes
I stooped low to croon into her ears 'Everything's gonna be fine, y'know?'
Her cheeks glowed while bad breath fanned my face
She and the bedspread looked alike
Puritan, sparse, clinical the room with heavy drapes
Sculpted shadows while hopes fled to a distant land
The doctor with the bald head and a gray sprinkle of a mustache
Shook his head gravely and said, 'Call her friends and relatives, if you may,
Cancer, you know, it is the last stage.'
How do I tell the doc her spirit is still wild?
The Bohemian nights, the party prowls,
The mornings with the endless cups of steaming black coffee!
I let the mobile ring before I mouthed a 'Hullo'
It was difficult to tell
How do you describe hell?
What address do you write?
When the soul says Au Revoire
It's all over now!!..
The nurse with the dark brown eyes
Said soothingly, 'It's been a bad night
Why don't you go down and have a cup of tea?'
My legs strained.
In the canteen on the ground floor
Somebody had thoughtfully left
The morning news paper on the table
As I sipped a tasteless cup
My eyes went involuntarily to the headlines
'The Government proudly announces
The setting up of a new Nuclear Power Plant
On some remote soil!!!'
I remembered her Chemo sessions
And putting my head down
Onto the crook of my arm
Resting on the dirty table
I wept like a child!!!