Poetry / June 2015 (Issue 28)


At Lake Gregory

by Hasanthika Sirisena

—Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, 1955
Amma, only ten, made the almirah
her casket. She curled in a recess,
knees tucked, and plucked golden Suriya
splinters from the cabinet walls. The air
draped her, scenting her sleekly of sandalwood
and camphor. For hours, the search party
brayed, but amma didn’t budge, even when
she heard them heave the dinghy to the shore.

As my amma, herself, recounts it, she
wasn't being naughty, only reenacting
a memory: another holiday, a missing
girl—an uncle's servant—pulled from a pond,
sopping hair coiling, chest and belly tumid,
mouth, eyes, nose dribbling mucus and blood.
 
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