Fistful Of Sky



Fistful of Sky

Born on a stormy night in July was I
no one remembers the date
girl child–
poverty has a short memory.

My mother gave birth in by railroad tracks
her bloodied thighs washed by rain
my baptism–
a hollow promise of redemption.

She cut the umbilical cord herself
a new blade sterilised with cheap alcohol
freeing me–
shackling me to poverty, my twin.

A woman like no other am I—
I have dared to dream my fistful of sky.

At seventeen I was a woman
my full breasts belied hunger
predator-eyes at every turn.

Love flew in like a canary
Ravenously, I pounced
was a dream about to come true.

Pretty glass bangles, my lover’s gift
sang in my kohl-lined eyes
met a happy death on the marital bed.

A woman like no other am I—
I have dared to dream my fistful of sky.

The daily local train explored as she was born
they said it was an auspicious day
scattered body parts–
smothered my daughter’s first cry.

Battered with pain and destiny
I held her in my arms
Lazarus woman–
faced with another chance at salvation.

She prances merrily to school
blue ribbons soar in her hair
her goddess gene germinates in anticipation.

A woman like no other am I—
I have dared to live my fistful of sky.



Rita Bhattacharjee is a communications consultant and the co-founder of Mission Arogya and Arogya HomeCare. Her poems have been included in anthologies and published in reputed international journals like Kitaab.


Cover Photo: Vinita Agrawal

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sangeeta Bhattacharya says:

    Poignant reading, Rita. Excellent.


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