Candle wax by Madhurima Sen


Art by Godfried Schalcken

Candle wax


The nickname that my grandmother had for me was Mome.

Candle wax.

Candle wax because melting my heart required little effort.


The old lady was worried sick that the world would make a fool out of me

and break my heart into pieces.

I cried till I was blinded by tears when they chopped down the barren pomelo tree in our backyard.

The roots were cracking up our walls, I was told. And of course, there were the red ants too.

My grandmother bemoaned the fate of the girl who didn’t know when to let go,

who couldn’t give things up when the time came, who couldn’t say goodbye.


Would she be proud today to know that I let someone go without dropping a tear?

I dismissed him from his job of loving me, without my voice shaking,

citing some reason or the other.

You’re fired, I conveyed.

I didn’t melt down when he wept on the road or begged me on his knees.


I chose myself.

It was a necessary evil. Time to let go. Shed the load and carry on.


I don’t melt so easily anymore, and there’s no one to call me by that forgotten nickname.


About the poet:

Madhurima is an academic-in-making, based in Oxford. Her plan was to draft a will to destine her poems to a good old-fashioned burning to ashes. This is her first wary attempt at publishing a non-academic work without the shield of anonymity.



 

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