The smoke spirals up
The heat scars her face
Dark pigments blotching the tender skin
Oblivious, she labours on with a half-smile
Tossing dozens of 'rotis' around
Plump and just right.
Somewhere she's scraping the last morsels
Her wailing baby wants her lullaby
She'll hum him her stories of the night
The hard pavement is now deserted and imagination takes flight.
The path is long and dreary
Vicissitudes in life sundry
Balancing a pile of vessels
She drags her tired muscles
Destined to be a vassal.
Labouring through long days
Unskilled jobs at mines and construction sites
Covering her timidness with her ample veils
Nameless, faceless, she makes her way
Not a day when she fails in her sway.
Not a moment to ponder
Not a moment to complain
Never a moment to stop
Stare at her flushed face.
Never did she think
Beyond the food platter
Never did she demand
A role in any other matter.
Ignored and abused
Servile she stood
Bowing in deference to patriarchy
Shielding her anxiety in her kohl darkly.
Desires covered firmly
Saree draped over her temple tightly
She wilts under the pressure
But neither praise nor poesies
Await her except in her fancies.
Yet she's the fountainhead
Of happiness and health
She's the last word
For the toddler and the youngster
The home they return to
The colour of a new day
The shimmer on a moonless night.
So what if no one ever said so!
Nandita De nee Chatterjee is a Writer/freelance journalist/housewife. Formerly with Economic Times. Cover stories and Feature Writer with Statesman, Illustrated Weekly, Economic Times, Telegraph, Times of India, Femina, Filmfare, Germany Today, Voix Meets Mode, UK, Frontier Weekly, Namaste Ink, Setu magazine, US, Innsaei International Journal, Chrysanthemum Chronicles International Blogazine, Literatureslight Magazine, Global United Renaissance magazine. Co Author: Big Bang of Non-Fiction, Life in Reverse; 30 Best Poets; Sea; Coffee & Echos; Wrapped Up Feelings; Poetry Planet's Christmas in my Heart , Moonlight; ALS's Kaleidoscope of Asia & Bilingual Anthology of Poems; Poetry Planet's Writers' Haven; Rewrite the Stars; Love Thy Mother; The Real Hero; Heart of a Poet by Inner Child Press anthologies; Ashes; Arising From the Dust; Striving for Survival & An Indian Summer in Verses by Plethora Blogazine (now Chrysanthemum Chronicles); Poetry Planet's Lockdown Diaries and Born to Dream Winner's Anthology, Gems II and Gems III by World Pictorial Poetry & Art Forum, Poetry: Best of 2020 by Inner Child Press USA. She has been chosen as the #womenpoet for the month of March by Cc.