KHAKI SHIRT

Feather as unique as she

decorated the lining of the leather-bound book

not a day spent outside the library

the ancient library enhanced the scent of musk

deeper every day she nestled

her thoughts in his books

whilst he knotted her braids

in babyish pleasure

Till she dug her head deep in his Khaki shirt

Till she met the warmth of his soft brown eyes

Humbled, but his smile didn’t reach his eyes

a flicker of sadness, a pang of guilt

why was he spinning, the web of lies?

Selfless in his pursuit had he been

undaunted, his intentions clear

then why did he hesitate,

his forehead beaded with sweat,

his eyes filled with tears?

Oblivious, she swayed

to the sound of Sinatra

mirroring her mother’s

a faint remembrance

the sweet serendipity

now made him shudder

Hollowed by her loss,

staring at the stone-cold body

he couldn’t have left her orphaned

Every dawn, now a sweet presence

of her exuberant self, and his khaki shirt

a mirror image of her mother’s

of her dimpled smile and her turquoise eyes

radiant as her, she filled the hollowed space of his

like a breath of fresh air

strolling hand in hand, the moist earth beneath

their bare feet

in her yellowed sundress

and his khaki shirt

ANOUSHKA MUKHERJI

The poem signifies a father-daughter relationship and how much the father loves his daughter. Every day the girl sits in his enormous library and spends all her day reading with him, the sweet scent of his khaki shirt fills her nose every time he braids her hair. Here we are made to understand that the girl’s mother has died and she has only her father left to take care of her. There is a hint of sadness and regret looming in the air. The father feels guilt because he couldn’t save her wife and for that, he feels intense remorse. But the girl is seemingly unaware of this, an exact replica of her mother, mirroring even her dance moves. The father hesitates with once what had been determination to tell his daughter bout the truth and finds it difficult to bring him to tell her this. The last five lines of the poem describes how his late wife had been, radiant and full of life, and had made him complete. The poem is composed of a sad note which speaks of loneliness and longing. The story also represents how beautiful the bond between a father and a daughter can be. The girl unaware of anything gives all her love to her father and adores him while the father is still guilt-ridden and refrains from fully loving her daughter. Her every step is a painful reminder of her wife’s death and how unjust it is for the girl to grow up without a mother. This story ends on a semi sad note but also shows how the husband is remembering his late wife, of happier and blissful times.

The poetic devices included in this poem are mostly metaphors