Poetry 2017 Longlist, Vidhi Bagadia

Why The Rainbow Had Seven Colours
Vidhi Bagadia

Five years old
And the clothesline
By my yard
Had been a mystery
I was taught to unravel.
                         
Seven years old
And the payroll
By my fingers
Had been a mystery
I was taught to unravel.

Nine years old
And the flour
And clay of my little brother
Had been a mystery
I was taught to unravel.

Eleven years old
And the stains
On my skirt
Had been a mystery
I was taught to unravel.

Eleven, eleven –
A number so tender,
An age so naive.
My feet digging holes
Into the quicksand of
Vermillion.

I travelled,
I complied,
I bore
At the colours of black.

When all I merely had to do
Was ask and unravel the mystery
Of why the rainbow
Had seven colours
And why could not I
Be painted in them.

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