A Reliable Sign


Saudamini squinted at the cloudless sky, trying to divine its hidden messages.

“Bring in the clothes, Amini!” she called to her daughter-in-law.

“Why, Amma? The sun’s shining!” Amini’s voice floated thinly from the small, bare kitchen at the far end of the house.

“Rain is coming.” Saudamini rubbed at her aching knees.

Continue reading “A Reliable Sign”


I left my baby lying there, lying there
I left my wee one lying there

A crying and alone

The moon she saw me flying there, flying there
The moon she saw me flying there
To the lake all on my own

The wind he heard me crying there, crying there
The wind he heard me crying there
And now my baby’s gone

“And now my baby’s go-.”

The last syllable of the lullaby entwined with a sob in Revathi’s throat. She fell into silence, still gripping the edge of the crib.

Continue reading “Premonition”

Sun Salutation


Aruna sat as cross-legged as she could on the narrow strip of foam optimistically passing for a yoga mat. This was her first time in this group.


Oh-exhale-mmm. Rise into mountain pose.

Aruna scrambled to her feet, hands still palms together in front of her.

Arms pointing to the sky. Stretch your fingers to the ceiling and your tailbone to the floor. Continue reading “Sun Salutation”

Night Shift

The sun peeked over the horizon, ensuring everything was as he’d left it.  The earth, clearly pleased to see his return, snaked long wispy tendrils of steam upwards, celebratory streamers heralding the return of her luminous lover.

Fred yawned and stretched, reaching his fingers high into the early dawn sky.  Night shifts were starting to take their toll on him.  He ran a hand over the soft furry down that now covered the bulk of his body.  He’d need to shave soon.

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Tiny Acts of Revenge


The blue and white pot glares disapprovingly at me from the mantle.  In death, in ashes, as in life, my mother has the power to make me feel inadequate.

“Bury me in the ground.  I don’t want to be burnt to a crisp and sit cooped up in some urn on a mantlepiece!”  She imagined herself marching steadfastly into the afterlife, intact and all limbs where they should be, hatted, gloved, and handbag slung over her left elbow.  She’s a fearsome woman, my mother.  Is.  Was.  No, is.  She’s still giving somebody gyp for not behaving the way she thinks they ought to.  Right now, that somebody feels like me.

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Secrets and Lies

‘And today’s sermon shall be on the value of chastity.’  The bitter thought swirls and sticks as I sit, eyes downcast, a penitent look fixed firmly on my face, listening to Mum berate me for missing my curfew, yet again.  Why doesn’t she get it?  Her rules were fine when I was a kid, but I’m almost an adult now, it’s time she came to terms with that.

Continue reading “Secrets and Lies”