by Sheikha A. 

Her eyes are ponds rippling the moon;
snip in the air turning fade
and the confusion of a quarrel
with the deceased relative’s visit
in mother’s dream is grimier
than the clarity of murky water  
she saw centered in a ruinous court-
yard. It must have been the moon
had browned in the hide of a bear –
the tones of honey-hue yet majestic dusky;
she wasn’t able to tell one from the other
while we waited as a weightless voice
like in chants of allegiance, when a grave
is ordered to convert into a fruit-
bearing field. Mother’s mind is  
listening to winds; how fast metres
race when arrival collides with departure.
Of late, this is how it’s been. She gets
on her feet with a scrubber and can’t
decide what corner needs most
cleaning attention. Fabrics of chiffon
are the different ways she folds  
in decisiveness. We see her looking
outwards, towards the common  
man taking the bus to work, she  
sees his feet are steady even if his
heart has lost accountability of
the number of breaths he draws  
out of his veins, just to watch the day
successfully end without incident.
There is envy in that sort of timeliness;
predictability doesn’t have to be
a god, or human invention. And
we have seen many springs take
the stairs of summer to alter  
flashing lights into a comfortable
breach-birthed darkness. We are
here hanging like the first sign,
the kind that we miss because  
of speed, also cannot reverse to.
Mother knows from the circling
birds overhead, neon rains
are about to wet flamboyant  
paints of vitality.



Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her works appear in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Recent publications are Strange Horizons, Pedestal Magazine, Atlantean Publishing, Alban Lake Publishing, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Arabic, and Persian. She has also appeared in Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love anthology that has been nominated for a Pulitzer. More about her can be found here



Join our reading community

Join our reading community

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and get free access to our library of poems, short stories and essays. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

It's worth sharing

Share this post with your friends!