SCATHED LIPS

Seafoam, her rhythms matched the sea waves

a perfect duet

At dusk, she knelt at the altar

bent low, with an air of tranquility, prayer at her lips

eyes shut with grave devotion

all the emotions that she felt, now flooding

stained glass of the church halls

and the whitewashed walls couldn’t do justice to what she held

as candles flicker, a memory fresh, as the pain she felt

a photograph, that bound her heart, that she cherished

of her and her mother’s, of her tender scent, endearing touch, like a ray of sunshine

like the bells of  a church her laugh, ringing

she reminisced, her voice, a warm embrace, singing carols in the dead Christmas nights

the crackling of the firewood, of hot embers and her hand, clasped  in her mother’s

A sudden jolt and she was rudely awakened from her memory

the bullets came first, devouring her, famished

destroying the stained glass

diminishing the light within until it was extinguished

Her faith wrecked, her body, broken

sudden flashbacks engulfed her, her mother’s sudden urges awakened her

as she stumbled for what her life was worth, couldn’t reach the altar

the bombs shook the walls

resonated far away

and there she lay

with her memories

of happier times, of sweeter days

the prayer snatched from her scathed lips

Desolated shorelines, now nobody danced with the sea waves

nobody caressed the sea foam.

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

This poem showcases the memories of the girl who danced along with the sea waves. The waves remember her rhythmic footsteps with the soft sand beneath her feet. It is understood that she is a very religious person who used to regularly visit the church with her mother. Now her mother is no longer by her side and she keeps having flashbacks of happier times with her mom. They used to pray together, sing carols during Christmas night, and dance together. She misses her warm embrace and rendering touch and her scent still lingers in her memory fresh as if she is still by her side. It seems that her mother died a very tragic death and might have been killed in the ongoing war. It is painful for the girl to recount those memories and she tries to bury them deep in her heart. All that she holds now of her mother is the old photography which was the only thing left behind of her mother. As she kneels down to pray at the altar she is suddenly awakened by the bullets which starts destroying the church windows and one by one starts wrecking the whole building, the girl tries with all her might to run as fast as she can away from the bullets but all in vain. Lastly, we see that the girl faces a similar fate as her mother and ends us dead inside the church walls. With all that fades away, the church in ruins now no longer can hold her memories of sweeter and simpler times. Now the shores miss the girl who danced along with the waves, the girl who came to pray with her mother.