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Tenderness

Where joy is both risked and worshipped, / Where tenderness is sought / And god becomes and unbecomes / At every step you take toward
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I think of households
Where children are woken up
And put to bed with poetry,
Mothers reciting verses out loud,
Fathers humming country songs
That take you back home
Regardless of how many miles
You are away from it.
These children with faces smelling of rain
Their souls petrichor,
I wonder what they dream of.
I think of homes
Where joy is both risked and worshipped,
Where tenderness is sought
And god becomes and unbecomes
At every step you take toward them.
Do these children think
The grass between their toes
Is the universe seeking joy in their giggles?
Do they wonder if the lizards
Crawling across their walls
Are cartographers of the soul?
These children born out of couplets,
Are their heartbeats the glue
Dripping against spaces
that keeps the rest of us apart?
Are their breaths
The warmth that wraps us up
on a cold winter morn?

Riya is a poet by passion and a content creator by profession. She is from Bhutan and is influenced by the works of Gulzar, Vikram Seth, David Whyte and Mary Oliver. Her newsletter The Nook has garnered significant interest among readers and ‘Syllables in Exile’, her first collection of poems was published during the ongoing pandemic.

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