A Hundred Gourds 5:3 June 2016

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page 13  

Yesha Shah – India

Nine and Three Quarters

Dizzy is what I feel standing on my scooter at this unusually long traffic signal under the torrid-again sun. Every inch of me longs to go home and sink into the couch with a cup of adrak chai. We’re at the cusp of seasons and allergies have kept their date with the kids.

fever chart
watching over my child
the pale moon and I

At home, I’m greeted by my visibly harried domestic help. The kids have hidden her broom and feather duster. She complained that my daughter threatened to turn her into an owl; chanting mumbo-jumbo, her hair let loose, pointing the rolling pin at her, while my son warned her that they possess a book of witch-craft.

It is their sick leave from school today, and I am expected to be lenient. Summoned, they emerge from their room sheepishly, a sweeping-long black cape around their shoulders ─courtesy an old bed sheet sheared into two.

All through the drama there are persistent giggles from the domestic help’s daughter. They’ve won her over with an old colouring book and crayon stumps.

Compelled by my steady glare, they scurry back to their room emerging cloak-less and return the booty. Scribbled bold in red marker on the broom’s plastic end are the words: Nimbus 2000.

election fever
my pre-schooler inks
his index finger

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