Thursday, 16 March 2017

A poem by Shikhandin

Before Winter

At this time of the year, a slant-eyed sun
sends down more shadow than light.
The soft tread of winter-fall
can be heard from beyond
the horizon. There are deaths
foreseen and foretold. In the descending
spiral of leaves, the closing
up of nests, and the vacancies
of cocoons. Burrows run deeper. Water
flows with greater urgency. As if
the onslaught of the chill will
arrest rivers and springs. And water
must, therefore, make up for it in advance. My heart
has received no notice of doom. Yet
it peeps out from the safety of its cage. Snorts
and stamps its feet like a sledge horse,
impatient with the hardening snow. I
can feel it. Something is sitting
on my shoulder. Each hair on my arms
springs upright, alarmed. Brittle
and sharp. My ears braced,
my side locks stiff, my terror un-screamed.
I dare not turn to see it.

Shikhandin is an Indian writer. Her short story collection, Immoderate Men has been published by Speaking Tiger Books, India -

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