“She Held the Rainbow” by Abha Das Sarma

(in memory of my mother)

The cushion had faded nursing the chair
By the dresser, a place I envied much
Where she would sit, my mother,
Hair entwined, dripping, searching through
The multitude of reflections as I wondered behind
If she wished what could not be or what was yet to come.

She was beautiful then and everything else I would dream.

Threading the beads, holding the thread in between
Her fingers delicate and rich from the perfume of ‘sindur
And the lip gloss rarely used.”
It will probably be a cloudy day,” she would say
Pulling herself, walking and settling on to her favorite bed,
Looking into the yard, wet wild shrubs, guavas and marigolds,
Sewing small silks for the Gods studded with beads and mysticism.

A blank staircase solemnly watching, imagining children play.

As I returned to find the box of beads for the last time,
The dresser by now cobwebbed heavily and the yard
A haven of overgrown grass,
Her pricked fingers caressed my hair, parting them in thick lines,
Holding the ends of the string threaded with beads, still
She held the rainbow of life.




Abha Das Sarma, an engineer and management consultant by profession, has a blog of over 200 poems (http://dassarmafamily.blogspot.com). Her poems have appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Spillwords, Verse-Virtual, The Ekphrastic Review, here and elsewhere. Having spent her growing up years in small towns of northern India, currently she lives in Bangalore.

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