[ Issue 5 / May 2013 ]

Crow-Girl by Ishrat Mattoo (India)

In the sub-zero winter of Kashmir

December is on me like a full moon.

I strive! I Survive!

Thanks to my colorful bridal kangri.

Frozen icicles hang from the roof-edges

Fear and desire melting at the slight beam

Through coal-dark clouds,

Dripping heavy on the back-broken dawn.

They have given me a name: Half-widow

But I am a woman as whole as sun

I don’t feel half

I am the absence in a brand new-moon.

The votive thread at the great shrine of Love

Yet to be untied in dreams-come-true

I must have known

Hennaed palms need less warmth and more patience.

I am the crow-girl with a difference

Alone in Gold-burnished beautiful room

A room of my own

The king to be dazzled is long gone.

But the evergreen black crow of white fairy tales

Knocks at my window and pecks off my hand

It is very cold

Thanks to my colorful bridal kangri.


Ishrat Bashir is a Kashmiri who works as Assistant Professor in the
department of English , Central university of Kashmir. She likes reading
and writing poetry. Her interests are Modern Literary Theory and
Translation Studies.