Outside A Pocket, 1947

We tumbled
Outside a pocket of Time
Into a blood-stained heap
Of discarded faces.
Our family hid in
Darkness cloaks and
Crossed borders to stay alive.

We begged, ‘We aren’t miscreants,
Only pariahs
Escaping genocide.’
Made ourselves nugatory,
In tiny line rooms, and
Stitched two tea-leaves
At the hem of
Our fractured lives.

The children were taught
To sew their way up
And so we did.
Now, to boil a cup
In faraway land, we
Wrap aroma about us
Like a shawl, and pluck
Memories to
Fit into its folds.

Mandira Pattnaik

Listen to Mandira reading ‘Outside A Pocket, 1947’ (0:41).


Mandira Pattnaik writes in India. Previous poetry publications include ‘Erosion’ (Eclectica Magazine 23/4, 2019), ‘The Recruit’ (Runcible Spoon 2019), ‘Our Light Hearts’ (Clover&White 2020) and ‘I Am’ (Panoplyzine 2020).

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