The mother smells flood, as the rippling water,

    comes crashing at her door, singing an ominous song.

    It’s thunderous voice, asks for alms, she offers her lone utensil

    which washes away through the sheets of rain,

    bobbing up and down, without apology.


    Her roof as short-lived as the life of a small golden

    fish, drips and cracks with the next roar.

    Her children huddles together, under the big bucket.

    Like a wet crow waiting but not uttering a single ‘caw.’


    A blurred, bedraggled destiny, stares at mother,

    frowning, ruthless, mute as death.

    An assault it is, a yearly routine,

    this hammering, drowning, washing

    away, before the water goes down.


    She knows water subsides in the end

    And so  she holds the water in her pitcher.

    In the gray silence of the morning,

    when the strange blossom, beams light, amidst

    indefinite doom, she awakens.


    She awakens then and walks over the flood,

    stuffs pink plastic into the cracks, and

    weaves her roof again, defeating the storm with a thud.


    The poem is inspired by the panel discussion, Poetry of floods and environmental activism: Sumana Roy, Nishi Pulugurtha, Shelly Bhoil, Deyasini Roy.



    Poet: Chaitali Sengupta

    Chaitali Sengupta is a writer and a poet by passion, a financial analyst and a language teacher by profession. She’s a translator and volunteer journalist, based in the Netherlands. “Cross Stitched words”, her debut collection of prose-poems, has been recently published by SETU publications, USA. Her two translated works (from Bengali to English) are “Quiet whispers of our heart” & “A thousand words of heart”. She has contributed largely to esteemed international anthologies and online/print literary journals, including Café Dissensus, Different Truths, Borderless Journal, Muse India. Her translation of a human interest documentary for the Dutch TV channel NPO.nl was widely appreciated.


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