Tuesday, 26 October 2021


Lantana Sun

by Pratibha Kelapure

Ghaneri, the smell of dirt as they are called
in Marathi – the language of the people
with the hearts of butter living in the land
of rocks – yet the colors of the rainbow –
these charming clusters of lantana flowers
keeping company with the five-year-old girl
alone in the garden on sunny afternoons
of long dry summers when
the work keeps father away and mother busy
the many incongruities of life of the needy
the girl oblivious to the lack of supervision
the landscape is dry, but there are colors
and butterflies flitting about in the bushes
with the tiny clusters of red, yellow, pink
and purple, her own secret sanctuary
too young to comprehend the cruelty to nature
she separates single flowers from the clusters
and makes a pile, a colorful palette to create
a pretty-pretty rangoli on the landing stone
her mind a confluence of folktales and fairies
an afternoon of bliss for all she knows – for now

* * * * *

Pratibha Kelapure is an Indian-American poet residing in California. Her poems appear in Choice Words: Writers on Abortion (Anthology, Haymarket Books, 2020), Entropy Magazine, Plath Poetry Project, miller's pond poetry, The Lake, Tab Journal (upcoming), Amethyst Review (upcoming), and many other literary magazines. She is the founding editor of The Literary Nest.

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