Stories, Thoughts

An Effort In Vain

He entered the living room and stood at the door, feeling proud as ever.

“Mother, I am a man now,” he confidently confessed, his hands on his hips, imitating his grandfather who stood poised in style, staring down at every member of the family from above the fireplace, as though his intense gaze could penetrate and break the glass of the photo frame.

“What did you do son?” His mother questioned, with a tinge of neglect in her voice as she busied herself with her half-knit sweater. She stopped for a moment, realising she had not heard a reply from her son. She looked up and he was standing there, now staring at her, arms crossed. She turned and looked up at her father-in-law.

“Those same eyes, full of rage,” she calmly replied. “Is there anything you would like to say? I’m still waiting for you to tell me what you did my love.”

“If you could at least give me 60 seconds of your time?” Her son grumbled.

His mother sighed, kept her knitting tools into the box and pushed it under the table.

“There you go. Speak.”

“I kicked a boy, swore at him, teased a girl. I did it. I am a man!” he confessed.

His mother looked at him calmly.

“Since when did kicking a boy, swearing at him and teasing a girl made you the ‘man’ that you speak of?”

Her son frowned.

“Isn’t it that? Isn’t that what a man should be?”

“How on earth did you think of that?” His mother stood up angrily.

“I don’t understand your anger mother, nor anybody’s!” He cried. “If I wore a skirt and stole your lipstick, you slapped my face and told me to be a man! I asked you why I found myself being pulled to Jerry, you said it’s brotherly love but I know what brotherly love is and it’s not that. But you said it is. When you read in my diary that I wanted to hug and kiss Jerry, you slapped my face again and screamed I’m not being a man. And when I just did what a man does, why are you still angry with me?”

“No man does what filth you did son!”

“Then what is father? Isn’t he a man? He does that all the time! That is what a man is, isn’t it?”

His mother began to weep.

“I don’t understand this. I want to be like you mother, dress like you, sit like you, eat like you, talk like you but you force me to be like father, I don’t know what is going on, who am I? Am I even a son?”

His mother wiped a tear and looked at her child. “You will be one soon, just keep trying.” She turned and walked away.

He left the house in slow draggy steps with his head down low.

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Poems

I’m Coming

She stared

like a child

at his amazing features

pulling herself closer to him

finally seeing the creases on his skin

too old

too pale

too quiet

too solemn

too white

she lay next to him

and grabbed his cold hand

and played with his fingers

and scratched his palm

and kiss his hand

and held it tight

she whispered

“i’m coming too”

 

– Parveen Maghera

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Poems

regret

this inferno spreads through my body

it shouts the cries of peril

unsynchronised gestures

red eye monster

consciousness fade little by little

wait, where am I?

 

I need to leave

drums beating down my head

my wheels are far away

I am a tree swaying in the wind

the smell of leather and dry ice

taste of bile in my mouth

spit, cough, waterfall

 

slam my feet on the pedal

need to leave this dungeon

why is it so foggy today?

my lashes are damp

the lights are blaring

lost in this darkness

 

I am suffocating within myself

my head is damped

the wheel is red

press on, press on but

they stop me from the front

blue uniforms drag me out

I wasn’t the only one in red

 

my hands are tied with silver chains

a white blanket covers her

the redness never ceased to flow

like my endless chugs

it’s a start of something new

where did I go wrong?

 

– Parveen Maghera

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Poems

my lost existence

morning clouds of dangerous loom

though it does not explode to pour

thirst will give me strength to live

but my roots beckon for life

the soil it holds on to

depletes each day

the clouds show

no mercy

he gives

no care I

wither in plight

.

.

.

.

my emerald self fades to autumn hue

there seems like no life ahead of me

each part of me falls down to earth

and all my roots loosen its grip

but the clouds gave in

and I drink in pleasure

my colour returns

no however

he ignores

my world

each day

all the time I

wither in plight

– Parveen Maghera

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