Snapshot Of A Time

Three red candles holders
Poked into a cake so delectable
Juicy cherries atop each swirl of cream
Too sweet for all, tasteless for one
Tongue coated in medicated bile
Even chocolate is disgusting
In the plastic bag
They sing that birthday song once
And feed
Ten times
Lipstick-stained cheeks
And a pink nose
Eyes watering at the blinking lights
Christmas is here
Welcome the dizzy spell
Lavender tickle the nostrils
Hand sanitisers perfumed the room
Ward nurse prepares the milk
Singing Jingle Bells
In Punjabi
Then in English
Sing, they say
Hand in hand like best friends
Admiring the towering glittered tree
Wrapped boxes look like stools
Garbled voices fade away but
Talk, they say
Little steps forward
Each breath feels heavy
The wall is too white
Collapses in the mind
The ground shakes
No one understands
Walk, they say
But the limbs tire
And retreat to the red carpet
Then the body
Then the head
It’s bed time

– Parveen Maghera