The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

That Day In Bland Winter


Dr. Smita Anand Sriwastav


That day in bland winter
bleak and dark,
with a morose sun moodily hung
over skies like my faded blue linen frock
patched in varied clouds of grey,
when lonely amid faces rather familiar~
ominous fear of unknown foreboding
was like a caged bird
fluttering its wings within my breast.
you had come back
with a blend of antiseptics and malaise
replacing that familiar smell I loved.
a shadow of your previous self,
you seemed to blend into
the forlorn wallpaper of the day,
even your smile was brittle
like the sliver of new moon
desperately clinging to shreds of light.

you talked and chatted,
your laughter like the distant sound
of the gurgling brook in the hills
heard faintly on insomniac nights,
your voice eagerly grasping at
verbs and adjective,
as though you wanted to
waste no time lest the clock stopped.
and then the moment came
I cannot recall it
try how much I might,
it is a hazy collage of sepia images
made indistinct by sheer disbelief,
one instant you were there
talking and laughing though tired
and next you were gone
like the chimney smoke rises to
mascara tearful clouds.

there was a vacuum,
that sucked in my lonely moments,
when I brooded on the helpless 'whys'
and on the 'might have beens'
your pain was gone but
you remained within me an ache,
just as singed moths die
but the lamp must burn forever.

but years later today,
the bleak walls of existence stand
covered in fresh acrylics,
life's wallpaper reflects a picture postcard
that grief is mitigated by
this one realization that you left
because where you had gone
your pain could not touch you
and you could sleep with tranquility
amid wisteria blossoms you loved...


Smita Anand Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature. "I have always expressed my innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry. A feeling of inner tranquility and bliss captures my soul whenever I pen my verse. Nature has been the most inspiring force in molding the shape of my writings. I have published two books and have published poems in journals like the Rusty Nail, eFiction India, Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers and Contemporary Literary Review India and one of my poems was published in a book called ‘Inspired by Tagore’ published by Sampad and British Council. I have written poetry all my life and aim to do so forever."

Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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