“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.

“This is the Place” by Abha Das Sarma

In memory of my dear friend Jayanthi

We climbed the dusty red, slipping, pulling
Into the hazy cracks, just as we did
When you were six. You won then,
You had said.
Children painted and drew,
No one saw us go, looking down you
Smiled, pretended to slide, come through the gap
Be on my side.
The music had stopped, all looked to leave
“Who spoke to me?” a voice rough and coarse leaped
Then continued, “I want to know…” “It is me…”
The answer was lost, suddenly.
The maid had begun
To serve the tea, sister-in-law too returned
With dresses Indian, bought just then
And for the keep.
As the voice’s fingers fumbled on way to her mouth
That would break into a smile anyhow
The sun sank, changing the hues
Inside the room.
The ashes lay boxed when I returned
The sun seemed to take time
And the incense too stayed
Longer than we could fathom,
Straight ahead from where we sat
Through the glass on a day
Of goodbyes to unfolding of a life
I could find, you once again.
This is the place where the stairs
Do not reach.
This is the place from my dreams,
And this is the place which is silent today.

Abha Das Sarma is an Indian writer with a blog of over 200 poems. An engineer and management consultant by profession, she is passionate about writing. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Muddy River Poetry Review, Spillwords, and Journal of Expressive Writing. She also enjoys writing haikus and has contributed to weekly postings of Haiku in Action. Having spent her growing up years in small towns of northern India, currently she lives in Bangalore with her scientist husband.