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Poem: Letter to Myself

If only you can thank the August rain,/The road trips with false lovers,/ The unflattering mirrors, the ditched playgrounds…
life of a woman
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Dear August-born, 
Do not be the burning sage as you 
Sit on the bed soaking in the morning sun
And the washed remnants of your dreams 
Of the night gone by. Instead, just hang on 
To your wrinkled sleepwear and do your laundry
Listening to the hollow whispers of the washer. 

Dear August rain,
Do not hold on to songs in your head 
That can never turn into a hopeful refrain
A delectable orchestra. Instead, bolt the doors
Carefully when the thunderstorm breaks open 
Into your pastures, echoing your birth-name 
That everybody forgot, including you. 

Dear August-queen,
Do not forget that ‘queen’ is just a perfunctory word 
And it gives you no privilege in a world 
Where you floated in a dark, tepid sea of pettiness, betrayals 
And only words and art have kept you from falling apart, 
And there is the sweet, sacred ambrosia of love
But loveless evenings, lonely strolls in sidewalks gave you succor. 

If only you can thank the August rain, 
The road trips with false lovers,
The unflattering mirrors, the ditched playgrounds, 
The old notepads of burnt poetry, the stench of abuses, 
You can embrace your fire and ember. 
You can be the revolution, the upheaval, the threadbare dance
You can be the defiant poem, the silence of ruffled nights
That you’ve always dreamt of being. 

Image courtesy: Pxhere

Lopamudra Banerjee is an author, poet, translator, editor with six books and four anthologies in fiction and poetry. She lives in Dallas, Texas where she also teaches Creative Writing at Richland College and Texas Christian University. She has been a recipient of the Journey Awards (First Place category winner) for her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’, the International Reuel Prize for Poetry (2017) and International Reuel Prize for her English translation of Nobel Laureate Tagore’s selected works of fiction (2016). She has recently published ‘Bakul Katha: Tale of the Emancipated Woman’, her English translation of Ashapurna Devi’s ‘Bakul Katha’.

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