Sepia Memories

If there were some recourse, I would take it. A cupful of grains in my open hand, a smoothing out, finding the impurities, and then removing them piece by piece. And then, to be satisfied with what remains -Simple Recipes, Madeleine Thien


Sepia memories

Swatches of memories
Knock in snatches
Taking by hand
To the places where
It all began

Past’s faded sepia footprints
Heaving on waves of time
Skinny childish legs
Gurgling on wide shoulders
Secured by abiding love

Ebony balustrade
Edging a coiled
Staircase aspiring to hit
The roof linking houses back to back
An army of crumbling warriors

Gossiping mynahs with hennaed hair
And hands winnowing grains and
Chatter, flinging in air dramatically
Between cupping warmth basking
In fierce rays of winter’s sun

Stealthy moves behind closed
Doors, juicy tidbits spicing
Steaming aromatic cups
Of “kahwa” saffron tea
With whiff of almonds

Terrace air redolent with rich aroma
Enough to nourish off it rising from
Mouthwatering pickles bound in wide
Mouthed jar bellies simmering in the sun

Pitter patter of hide n seek playing feet
Chasing each other amidst raucous full
Throated laughter, loud screams escaping
Worry free childhood full of dreams

Jumping off high ledges, scrambling
Up and down tree trunks laden with tart
Raw mango booty, an exciting kaleidoscope
Of rich escapades, skinned knees, torn clothes

Somber images of death vigils, funeral pyres
Sheltering in basement with aunts, mom
Amidst sounds of warplanes and siren
Blasts in pitch black darkness, hearts
Leaping in mantra chanting mouths

Endless journeys in long anaconda trains
Whistling past in dead of night with firm
Deep olive green berths, perched on upper
Seats dunking homemade biscuits in sweet tea
Steaming in clay cups sold by station tea stalls

Crowds everywhere crowding everything in sight
A sea of colored saris ethnic clothes, shimmering
Gold jewelry and tinkling anklets, bracelets
Trunks, bedrolls, clay goose necked water jars
Monkeys, pealing bells, chants from temples

Swatches of memories
Knock in snatches
Taking by hand
To the places where
It all began

**picture from internet only

**Kahwa: Kashmir Green tea brewed with spices, saffron and almonds


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