Autumn of 2007 Beyond the Panorama November 19, 2020

Autumn of 2007

By Vasundhara Singh

The divorce papers came in last evening  

They lie on the counter top 


Ma makes dinner for two.  

A decade or so ago  

She would’ve cried and screamed 

But today  

She is sipping her cup of tea.  

Negotiating the truth  

Of a marriage  

That expired long before  

It’s actual demise.  

Humming a tune  

Of nostalgia  

Rescued from the depths of her mind.  

The sharp tick  

Of her eyeliner  

Ebbs and flows  

As she blinks to the tune  

Of a previous self.  

The phone calls are ignored  

Of voyeuristic ones  

Who say they care.  

She sways in purgatory  

An uncaring optimism  

Fuming within.  

Dinner is almost ready, she says.  

A damning notion of hope  

Lingers underneath  

These ritualistic deeds.  

An image etches itself bare.  

An embrace  

A light giggle.  

The only time I saw any love.  

Autumn of 2007 

A year before  

The shouts would make me shiver.  

A year before 

I’d start latching my door.  

A year before 

Two officers sat in our living room.  

A year before  

I made peace with the onslaught of silence and terror.  

An embrace 

A light giggle.  

The only sign of humanity  

I was fortunate enough to inherit.  

Autumn of 2007 

Those absurd eleven seconds  

Contradicting the days ahead  

Tease the cynical adult  

I’ve become.  

I had peered through the open door- 

Two familiar strangers  

Taking and giving  

In each other’s warmth.  

I fear 

I hadn’t stayed long enough.  

I fear 

I didn’t take my share of this temporary escape.  

An embrace  

A light giggle.  

A cruel prologue to the beckoning future.  

Autumn of 2007 

Arrange the plates, she says, dinner is ready.  

The divorce papers have been  

Returned to the envelope.  


Vasundhara Singh
Vasundhara Singh

Vasundhara writes gripping stories, imaginative poetry, and critiques of books and movies.

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