Madam Tachlitzky Mourns Her Husband
She keeps her Cashmere shawl wrapped
round her shoulders day and night,
breathes the smell of mountain pine,
snow and goat, father’s willow workshop,
mother’s roti and most of all him.
Addicted to flu-strength pills,
she sits confined in her room,
moping and sighing. Her eyes,
once lit up with joy, now feel like weights
pulling her down, heavy with tears, framed
by falling grey waves. Her mind
spins. She can’t wrap herself up
enough. Where is the promise
of warmth? She fingers the heft and weave,
knots and folds, the sometimes fibrous beast
of their marriage, claw marks, rips,
darns and then that final tug
unravelling. Ruby woo
tints her lips and cheeks this afternoon,
at least she’s made an effort today,
but she won’t don her bangles
or bindi again. No more
silk sarees. No jasmine wreaths.
His Indian parakeet whistles,
waits in silence, but no one replies.
Helen has been published on several online sites such as Ink, Sweat and Tears, Red River Review, Barren Magazine, The Drabble and Sukoon. She loves reading The Ekphrastic Review and now lives in England after many years in the Middle East.
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