The afternoon is silent

The struggle between heart and mind, violent

The smoke curls up to the roof

Unhurried, aloof

She is lying on her back, staring at the fan

Unaware when the chain of thoughts in her head began.

Her wrist is slightly twisted, away from herself

The habit of years is still there, unshelved

Consciously, she turns her wrist upward

With a rueful smile, remembers the courage she must muster

For there is a longing in that instant relief

And pain in this uncontained grief

She pulls the cigarette to her mouth, inhales

With each puff, willing the pain to go away

But this humble stick can go only do so much to hold her thoughts at bay

And they come back to her with the force of a strong gale

Ah, for how long must she curtail?

The blade beckons to her, shining

She looks at it, pining

She reaches out, almost touches it

But her oath comes back to her with the force of a holy writ

She withdraws, frustrated – is there no other relief?

Her heart tells her, no, you must bear this grief

She throws away the stub of the cigarette and the smoke dies

She curls away in a corner of her bed, and begins to cry

She thinks of her mother’s lap; and whispers to herself her name

But unlike a child in distress, she has no one to lift her and put her away

So she tries to close her eyes, tries to hold the tears at bay

The memories don’t leave her, nor do the nightmares go away.





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