Sunday 15 August 2021

Soumyaa Somatra, Poetry 2021 Shortlist


To the girl reading this right now,

I hope it finds you in peace.

Today I'm writing to your 'mediocrity',

To your discreet perfection, over and beneath.

They told you, you look 'ordinary',

'Run-of-the-mill', 'common', 'simple' too,

because of your skin like dripping honey,

because the sun shone brighter on you.

You mirror the color of the earth, of soil,

of home and of life, of your own turmoil,

Every bristle on your body, a sapling;

Every crease a rivulet;

The scars on your wrists form mountain ranges;

The lines on your palms, lightning, portray.

Your brows reach out to each other,

Like lovers long-lost;

Their union over eyes, tired,

Seeking the assurance they never got.

The eyes though, you wish, were ocean blue,

or maybe an unusual green,

"Brown is ordinary", you said,

Disregarding their angelic sheen;

How they glow up to gold, with flecks of fire,

But mundane, you call it, 

unworthy of desire.

Your body is a battlefield,

Every scar a crusader,

The tear-stains are ruins from the holy wars

from nights you were your own hater.

We've ravaged your heart, beyond repair,

by making you feel halved,

Pushed you to the edges of confound despair,

Changed your worries, changed your laugh.

Look at yourself with love, love,

Look at the miracle you turned out to be.

You're more than just "good enough",

More than a mere estimate 

of what they choose to see.

You've a cosmos within yourself,

with limitless, unfathomable features

and 'mediocre' was never one of them.

You're a work of art by nature herself;

Dare you call yourself ordinary again.

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