Poems by Swati Chawla
Prelude to a Winter Song... Melluda
do you remember, my Melluda
the tic-tac-toe of love
on your red sweater?
and my white socks
sullied by my labour’s toil?
how you scoured the dirt
off my winter’s glove,
my overcoat, you remember?
full of restraint.
Oh! my Melluda, how you bring me back
memories of cooking—the black burner that your father gave
at the altar.
you remember how I gained little by little,
your sweltering heart, Melluda?
on a cold day,
you remember how I wept
over scores of disloyal friends
but wrapped truth’s ring
on my shoulders
with your hand knit woollen scarf?
with the angel’s wings (yours),
I look around for clues,
in the London fog
of how this world had turned into a written letter
that I cannot read
I wrote this song, Melluda
with nothing but the warmth of your hands
and memories of this mad, mad world
your travel travails hung on the walls
my pictured bosoms too, that you clicked
clay pots that I made
marinate over my longing
sickly clocks haven’t ticked
since that infinitesimal minute
when you kissed the nape of my neck.
Must you be gone?