Only masks still bandied
About numbers, and
Shrunk out dates and years
on littered streets.

We sat in prayers then, cooped up, all afternoon
We, who had crossed over to the other bank,

Since March last.

In the waters, floated away, grief,
Someone’s brothers, my sisters.

One of the neighbors has
Unfurled it on the flag post
by its long elastic ears.
Reasonable reminder — as it
Flutters in departing winter breeze.
I think it murmurs back, in
Eerie musical tone, how it’s hiding a
Spring butterfly in its
Rather pupal folds. Amen!


Mandira Pattnaik


Mandira Pattnaik is a writer based in India. Her most recent poetry is ‘The Day I Became Madonna’ (Prime Number Magazine, Press53, January 2021), ‘A Vacuum’s Tale of a Bird’ (West Trestle Review, January 2021), ‘7:39’ (Feral Poetry, December 2020) and ‘Outside A pocket, 1947’ (Not Very Quiet, September 2020).

© 2021