Tuesday, 22 February 2022


An Ode to the Lonely Boy

by Padmini Krishnan

He sits in front of the table,
waiting for a breakfast
that would never come.
He closes his ears, but
his father’s chilling angry voice
seeps through the gap
between his fingers.
His mother returns the wrath this time,
her honeyed voice surprisingly husky,
incoherent and almost masculine.
He hears a loud crash,
followed by a splash of water
and then silence.
His stomach burns for lunch.
Fear warring with intrigue,
he peeps into the kitchen
at the pretense of filling his water bottle.
But the kettle is empty,
its contents dripping on his mother
who sobs quietly in the corner
of the kitchen, her head
buried in her arms.
He meets his parents for dinner.
An epitome of civilization,
his father asks
if he needs help with his studies.
All smiles now, his mother
serves him lunch.
If not for the salty noodles,
her swollen eyes and
the anger still lurking in the corner
of his father’s eyes,
the boy would have thought
he had imagined everything.

* * * * *

Padmini Krishnan was raised in India and now resides in Singapore. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Stonecrop Review, Page & Spine, Tinywords Haiku, and The Literary Yard among others. Her e-chapbook, Pinewood Hills, was published in Proletaria.

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