Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ambient Light

[I often narrate in first person, but I am just a story teller. Almost everything I write here is fiction. This poem is from the perspective of a man remembering his wife.]


The light escaping from the screens
falls on our photograph on the side table
You and me, dim shadows
warm candle light
You were high on champagne
and laughed that hearty laugh
and my heart glowed a little brighter
than the ambient light
I had held you by the waist
and you were laughing loud
facing the ceiling
when the camera clicked


"You will have to move on"
you had said, teary eyed
as I had hushed you
and told you about the advances in science
I lived in denial, you said
and showed me the statistics
You saw the seventy percent
I tried desperately for the thirty
That was uncharacteristic of us both


I was painting the porch
for the imminent summer
and watching the butterflies
in the garden
when the doctor had called
He had the reports
Its all too distinct now
the smell of paint
the warm breeze
the exact brightness of the afternoon
All the months that followed are blurry
syringes and wards
disinfectants and phone calls
Identical days of urgent rush
and my solitary tears at night
I often watched that picture of us
to remember your laughter
and the long golden tresses
that chemo took away from you
You still looked beautiful though
Nothing could take away the twinkle
of your hazel eyes


I often sat by the bed
wondering
in what precise moment
the white cells in your blood
decided to mutate
and tip the beginning of our journey
into a cruel terminal
Your pale skin
smelled of lilies that night
when the moon was full
and you had shown me
how the diamond on your finger
glittered
"Preserve me in your poetry
when I am gone"
I have kept that part of the promise
But it feels unnecessary to move on
anywhere away
from your pervasive smell
that dwells in the house
and from our togetherness
that comes alive
in perfect tenses
on full moon nights


Shared with Poets United.

20 comments:

Jyoti Mishra said...

This post is sure pure and emotional !!
Loved it.
wondering
in what precise moment
the white cells in your blood
decided to mutate
and tip the beginning of our journey
into a cruel terminal.

These lines touched my heart.

ayala said...

So sad for your loss. What. Beautiful and sad poem remembering your love. Smell evokes such strong emotions doesn't it?
When you love so deep... They are always with you.

Jack said...

Tulika,

Read all pending poems. Faith, a true picture of how we forget the right path shown by the one whom we try to show our faith in. Other poems show love is such a beautiful way. This one totally moved me. Touches the heart.

Take care

Tulika Verma said...

Thanks Jyoti and Jack.

Ayala, the poem is fictional. Thanks for the read! :)

Indigo's flow said...

Lovely poem Indeed,

kaykuala said...

Such a moving episode. It pains to just remembering all, effects of chemo and such. Sad. Great verse!

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

The anguish of loosing a loving wife is clear in these lines, the story strung in words is touching.

Nice read.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Kim Nelson said...

You are gifted to create from your imagination and not experience a piece that feels alive and real and current. Brilliant write!

http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2011/07/09/altered-reverie/

Neva Flores said...

As a widow, this one tore at my heartstrings..Absolutely beautiful.

Old Raven said...

You have done a fine job of getting inside the heart of this person, of taking over their emotions and telling it to your reader with depth and reality.

Jo Bryant said...

In what precise moment
the white cells in your blood
decided to mutate
and tip the beginning of our journey
into a cruel terminal.

Deeply touching - beautiful. Such a wonderful tribute. :)

SUB said...

wow...touching...

loved it

Suyog said...

Simply beautiful. I could actually feel those words enacting out in front of my eyes the entire life of this couple. This is what to me the magic of poetry is supposed to be.

Suyog said...

Someone up there in the comment list actually sympathized with you on your loss. Do you really need a better word of appreciation? :)

Jingle said...

keep it up.

refreshing talent.

Amiya chatterjee said...

Ireally dont know how best I can write acomment for this poem.
Is it scintillating , Lyrical , Metaphorical, impressionistic , Intense......I dont know . I give up and sit with my silence and your TERMINALITY.

Kailash C Sharma said...

I often sat by the bed
wondering
in what precise moment
the white cells in your blood
decided to mutate
and tip the beginning of our journey
into a cruel terminal...

...Very sentimental and emotional creation..beautiful

Kartik said...

Gosh!!! AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!!

Anne said...

The sadness just hit me in all it's varying shades. The drama in each scene is intensely evocative of finality. Gorgeous poem!

Flying Machine said...

I like the unnecessary. I am glad he knows what is unnecessary.