Poetry 2017 Longlist, V Subhadra

Widow of Pride
V Subhadra

Far, far in the glaciers astound
Walking on the white, snowy ground,
His heavy, bulky attire shone
The pride of his country, that he’d worn.
Breathing with a cautious vigil upon his steady, living bastion,
Arms clinging to the massive shoulders
He trudged up and down the assigned region.
The cold, sharp waves slapped hard on his coarse face
Yet, alert stood he, unperturbed of the wind’s trace
With his eagle-eyes static, fixed upon the limitless lands,
That is cradled in his country’s tenacious hands.
His services for the homeland called for in the day or night
Amidst monstrous mountains where the sun seldom shone bright,
And he went on battling the enemies with all his might,
A seething angst to  relieve his motherland from its sorry plight.
Oblivious to hunger, oblivious to thirst
Oblivious to blood-oozing gashes, all gory and worse,
He dwelled upon his inner vigour to cross the safety wall
Ignorant of the grave dangers that may him befall.
When stood there a child and a weeping, helpless man
Caught in the clutches of the enemy’s bloody hand,
A single bullet swept through the undeterred firearm
That clung to his trained hands with a royal charm.
That was the proud man, son of the beloved Mother
Bowing before whom she sought him her significant other.
Her heart swelled, unable to hide that glimpsing pride
To be named the ‘missus’ of a soldier, far and wide.
And one fine day landed he in a long, sealed casket
The Tri-colour wrapped graciously announcing his dismal death.
The world lauded him; a brave son of the Mother,
Who rescued her timid Children from those sadistic ‘Others’.
Bruised, hit, tortured, tormented beyond thought
He smiled through the agony for the lone chance his life brought;
Brave, valiant soldiers were the only salvation
Of this once prosperous country, now a terror-struck nation.
The lady remained rigid by the mighty coffin’s side
Harbouring in her heart the memories of a vivid velvety night
When her man left with a promise of waking to a glorious morn
With the country rejoicing the harmony that was to be reborn.
Now the nation breathes in peace
Now his breath is fully ceased
Now she mourns his death in quiet
Now she’s a widow clad in white.
A single tear perched in her eye
Refusing to drop down and pass by,
Her heart brimmed with an unknown joy
To have lived a wife of an intrepid sepoy.

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