ODE FROM A NIECE
|The moon is the oldest uncle in our house.|
Older than “maa”, scouring the smallest cooker, curry simmering low
on the kitchen counter, her hands in the sink,
some clanking silverware- these perfect pieces of the sun.
Older than “baba”, his saccharine dipped stache
living one lifetime within the pages of the yellowed newspaper
creased as a crescent, with some unhindered prophecy,
he does not ask for salvation in glittering, glimmering things.
Older than the nightingale, wailing on brown fences,
sometimes, the balcony, leaned on tall, green grasses-
a burial for the cricket chirps, now she sings in exasperation,
for quiet, self sunken blossoms and honeysuckle.
Older than the stranger, the newcomer, a trespasser
making incorporate decisions in broadcasted horrors of the night,
the orison howls like a cowered wolf, pronouncing through windows,
onto woods, unaware of the tenderness in the descendants of light.
Older than the cemetery walls, whose hungry mouth
is a cave of thriving emotions, pesters me so often,
my poems do not feel like waking up, until “Chanda-mama” caresses
with cut flowers, succulent leaves, and rudder breezes of the fall.
The moon is the eldest in our house, his love mirrors in his caverns,
in the young river’s edge, where poppies blow even in his absence,
eclipsed, even when the world hasn’t been too kind to him, even when the billions
of tiny celestial anatomies fluctuate faces of his many, many nephews and nieces.
This poem is an ode to the moon with regard to its place in Indian culture. The moon is humorously considered to be the uncle (mother’s brother), and is often mentioned as ‘Chanda-mama’ (which translates to ‘Moon-uncle’) in lullabies for children’s amusement.
The artist, Abhilipsa Sahoo, is a full-time student, part-time poet from India, who loves to scoop ice-cream when not indulging in an avid reading.