Saturday 20 February 2016

Poetry 2016 Shortlist, Archana Kapoor Nagpal

Akido of Motherhood
It’s 5am again,
The first light upon my face,
The daily buzz of the bedside alarm,
And I ask myself,
Why am I awake?
I scan through my emails,
Squeezing my eyes tight,
The project deadlines
Or these monthly targets,
Wiping the sleep from my eyes,
I read my emails – one after another,
I try to keep my eyes open,
To login – to start my work
I am in the middle of the work,
And, I guess my baby is crying,
Now it’s my time to breastfeed,
From baby to emails,
And emails to baby,
I do not know where my time flies,
I can listen to the outside traffic
And my neighbour’s rattling engine,
Until the doorbell rings at 6am,
I enter the kitchen to finish my cooking,
Before I leave for work,
I make sure to set all things right,
From crèche to office,
Then office to crèche
Day ends – and I am back to bed.
It’s 5am again,
And the first light upon my face,
I switch off the bedside alarm,
And shut down my phone,
I login to check for a place,
To disappear from my work, and my home,
I see holiday packages for solo travellers,
Mesmerising beauty of the holy Himalayas,
Cirrus clouds stretched across the sky,
The verdant tea gardens swaying in the breeze,
Unlimited videos of Buddhist chanting,
Amidst the tinkling bells,
I could feel anointing in different ways,
Until my neighbour’s rattling engine
makes my baby cry
The reality dawns upon me,
My mind echoes with a thousand thoughts,
How will my baby live without me?
Himalayas might give me peace for a while,
Nothing could be better,
Than my baby’s little smile,
Mantras might eradicate the negative thoughts,
To serve my family with the food
Is still more thoughtful to me,
Soon I could replace the tinkling bells
With the clink of my child’s anklets,
I could feel anointing in different ways,
As she rubs her cheeks against mine,
Again the doorbell rings at 6 AM,
In the middle of deadlines and targets,
I experience a state of meditation.

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