photo of a red pill capsule

Two Poems by Kushal Poddar

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Cramped

I writhe and writhe,
the bend of the bow,
in my summer cramp
inside the pool of sweat.
So are we drowning, dear dreams?
Not yet. Not yet.
I amble for miles.
The guide says,
if the border guards see us
they will end all our pain
and I see the birds gliding back
toward the stream
for summer silver.
Soon some fish will writhe
in their clawed fists.
Not there yet.
Not there.
Yet.

The Day Her Red Pill Expired

Did you take the yellow one, pink, blue?
My mother moves her head.
She waits for their disapproval.
I know about medicine from sickness.
The days pass, and my mother shrivels
giving me a chance to learn anatomy.
The medicines expire too.
One day a red pill died
and my mother buried it
in a porcelain tub
bought for some bonsai
we thought we had time to cultivate,
and we agreed that
only bonsai befits our lifespan,
even dreamt about small fruits hanging ripe
from miniature branches.
My mother, I imagine,
has no soft spot for her medicines.
Still she cries after expiry of each pill.
Curses the doctors for prescribing it
without foreseeing the future.

A native of Kolkata, India, Kushal Poddar writes poetry, fiction, and script and is published worldwide. He is the author of All Our Fictional Dreams. The forthcoming books are Kafka Dreamed of Paprika and Five Rivers.

Lead image: “red pill” (via Flickr user sausyn)