Seared and Singed

Seared and Singed

It’s the same whiff
Of something burning
Too long on the stove.

When what could be delicious
Turns into almost inedible
Right under my nose.

The stench is strong
But not revolting
As I thought it would be.

It brings a scent of nostalgia
Wrapping me tightly
In its death grip.

Because Ma too burned
The okra and the cabbage
Simmering on the stove.

For it’s not the smell
But what it brings along
With it, the unending woe.
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Anushka Bhartiya
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