At the Threshold

At the Threshold

I perch on the Elm tree and wait for her,
Every morn she sits at the threshold
One leg inside the house, the other outside
– As if in two minds, 
Though she has been doing that 
Less n less, off lately. 
She just sits, head against the door frame
With a vacant stare and
Purple, black and blue bruises
All over her body.
Oh! She covers them up, but I’ve seen
And have caressed them 
A million times. 
And have felt her sigh as if
Caressed by a mother’s hand.
I’ve carried her whimpers n anguish
To other windows and doors, but
None welcomed me or heard her pleas.
As I move now, the leaves rustle 
And she looks up waiting for me 
To caress her face yet again. 
I carry no moisture, no need for it 
Her tears are enough
With my wispy fingers I try to wipe them
I try to whisper in her ear, words 
Of encouragement, of assurance 
That I’ll be always there, for her.
The wind beneath her tiny wings
The breeze that will carry her away
Far, far away from this pain
But she needs to want to fly…
POET’S NOTE: While listening to reports of increased domestic violence against women and children due to the coronavirus lockdown, this image formed in my head, of a woman sitting at the threshold. I cannot help them but I can write.

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Shweta Singh
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