From the corner of my mother’s cupboard
I see it –
the glimmer of a blue stain, not unfamiliar
like a peek of cloudless blue sky
from the ocean of crowded forest trees.
Neatly folded, without a crease,
a perfect teardrop on her rack of clothes,
the silver of blue silk shinning like thirteen years ago,
when my younger sister first wore it.
The frock slipping from her fragile shoulders like painted rain.
When my baby girl grows an inch more
Mummy would sing placing the straps back on its position
and her baby girl would smile like a promise –
clinging tight to it,
even at the operation theatre,
when the promise was broken with that tumor,
never letting her grow into the dress.
Mother has learned to let pothos and other ivy
outgrow from their small bottle frocks,
stacked along the empty spots of the house,
but pain has a way of staying, like the coiled roots
filling the bottom of the bottles, reminding how
strong we become despite the fragility of life.
Joanna George (She/Her) writes from Pondicherry, India. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, Isele magazine, Honey Literary, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, West Trestle Review, Lumiere Review, Paddler Press and others. She tweets at j_leaseofhope.