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Grief Poem by Bhavya Bhagtani

My mother knows a trick that turns grief to sugar and she hides it all in her ageing spine.

Last winter, a sadness drenched my father- rusting him like iron, each breath corroding his


The saddest picture I ever took is one in which my parents are icing a chocolate cake.

The corrosion devoured my father’s voice- buried in him now, are a million word-shaped


My mother twirls with childish delight, laughs like thunders strike, every single time it rains.

Monsoons always leave her looking smaller, as parts of her sugar-spine water washes away.

I love my parents’ sorrow a little too much, for it may be the only inheritance that I get to


I shudder each time I eat something sweet; afraid it will soften the familial grief in me.

My father breathes like a fish drawn out of water, quietly letting his insides slowly decay.

If sadness breakouts are not controlled, they rot fathers to the sickest shades of grey.

Some people, like my parents, learn to drown way before they can be taught to swim.

Birds born in cages never miss the flying-

they twirl when it rains, hide grief in their wings.


Bhavya Bhagtani is a 25 year old poet from Ajmer, India. Her work has previously appeared in The Alipore Post, Terribly Tiny Tales, The Mark Literary Review and Airplane Poetry Movement's Anthology, 'A Letter. A Poem. A Home.' She is on Twitter (@bhaaaaaavya).

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