Runaway

The sky was black

Like the coffee I drank

Every sleepy morning

Like the worn shawl

Your mother draped herself in

When she took down sun-dried clothes

In chilly evenings

The light was melting gold

Like the dull glow

Nestled in my mother’s ears

And jingling around her wrists

The circle around my father’s

Thickened fingers, gripping

This morning’s newspaper

 

I was a bundle of fear

And repressed excitement

Drumming its way through

The hasty throb in my wrist

In the restless tap

Of my fingers against my thigh

Waiting as the silver hand

Ticked its way across

My watch’s dial,

Tick

Tock

Too slow, too fast

 

The night was black

Like the look on my father’s face

When he saw you hold my hand

That one evening when you

Dropped me home

Like the growing storm

When he saw me talking

On the phone, at 3 am

Like his words, telling me

I could never see you again

The light was gold

Like your voice

Telling me to get away

To pack my things,

And unpack my dreams,

And shake them out in the sunlight

When we ran from it all

 

You were late

And panic was crawling

Up the walls of my throat

Little voices in my ear

Whispering that you were

Not going to come,

That I was a fool

Young, naive, in love

Expecting a knight in shining armour

To carry me away

That I should turn back

And go back home

 

The night was black

Like the despair creeping

Into my heart

Like the light fizzling

Out of eager eyes,

Like the steady drip

Of disappointment

Scratching over rosy dreams

Like the leaky pen

I would write with

Back in school

The night was black

Like the silhouette

Walking up to me

The light was gold

Like your skin

Glowing, blazing in the lamplight

Like the smile burning

Across my cheeks,

Mirrored in your face

In the sudden taste of freedom

Writ in the curve of my lips

And the touch of your fingertips

Pulling me to run, run

Free.

 

The night was black

The colour of knowledge

Like your Abba’s wrath

The next morning

My Amma’s despair

As she stroked

My pillowcase, still smooth

From no restless head

Rumpling freshly made sheets

Her sorrow mingled, perhaps

With some grey understanding

And the quiet satisfaction

That her daughter had flown

What she could not

But the morning,

Oh, the morning was gold

Hope rising in the horizon

With a glowing, glorious sunrise

And the press of your fingers

Twined in mine

The rattle of the bus

Taking us away

To the place

Our young hearts believed

Dreams came true.

 

-Gautami

 

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4 thoughts on “Runaway

  1. Amazing!!! I Tell You it’s like one of those very tightly written Graham Greene Stories where the master artist is at work and such is the level of artistry that u can literally see and visualise everything happening before you. You really are the master artist Da!!! BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    Like

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