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Wild iris

We first saw you
as children
when we first tasted
starry nights
and dewy greens
on our palms,
and drank the shades,
so many shades,
of purple
that had sprung
in feathery wisps
and flakes
and striped petals
near nettles
and firewood
and cow dung cakes.

We learned how to make
ladders from your leaves
as tall as dreams.

As I sit here
staring at four white walls
in a dark city
I remember you

and the tingle of
the open sky
under my skin,
the smell of
wood shavings;
the sound of cattle
herders calling the cows
the fluffy white clouds
of smoke
from a chimney
and a few cigarettes
between steady fingers.

I do have a few
photographs of you
purple and green;
pale imitations
for I smell nothing,
hear nothing.

There are only 
white walls
in dark cities.

Written in 2013, first published in Miracle magazine, issue 7, October 2013.

Himachal Pradesh, 2011


  1. :')

    I didn't know we made the ladders from wild iriseses!

    1. Yeah from their long leaves! Mom showed us I think.

    2. Yes I remember! I meant to say that I didn't know those were wild iris stems :D

    3. Leaves not stems! Hehe

  2. A beautiful short trip down the memory lane !

    1. Thank you for reading! This poem is about my grandparents' home in Himachal and the summer vacations we used to spend there :)


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