Ritual of Departure by Rajani Radhakrishnan

Ritual of Departure

I walk this dying year slowly down to the edge. You laugh, tell
me I am holding his shrivelled arm too tight, he totters now, his

voice feeble, not that he has anything left to say. I wait for him
to crumble to ashes so I can hand him back to ocean that birthed

him, how many times have we done this here, how many times
have we stood at this door, me empty-hearted, this silent Bay

of Bengal, waiting in seeming nonchalance, wave after wave,
counting down the seconds. Remember the time he was broken

before the winter solstice, I brought him in pieces, in black plastic
bags, parts missing, and once, long ago, when I did not want to

let him go- all that crusted angst has turned blue wine to salt, yet
this sea burns the fire of a new day in her belly, our ancient ritual

of departure coloured with the blood of arrival. I turn back,
cleansed, eviscerated, clutching the arm of the wind, already

filling with fragments of sunshine and sand. You laugh, tell me
I am holding on too tight, even hollowness has to let go, to fly.

by Rajani Radhakrishnan

Editor’s Note: The surreality in this poem heightens the emotional resonance of the lines.


6 responses to “Ritual of Departure by Rajani Radhakrishnan”

  1. […] Happy to say this poem was published today on Autumn Sky Poetry. […]

  2. Sarah Russell Avatar

    Rajani’s poetry always inspires me with its play of real and surreal. Her imagery has an unhurried opulence that I admire. Thanks Christine and Rajani.

  3. bruce guernsey Avatar
    bruce guernsey

    Hey there, Christine, A friend saw my “Winter Without . . .” poem and wondered why I had changed my last name to “Georgia”!!  I wonder why I did, too!  Take a look at the listing and you’ll see!!

    1. Christine Klocek-Lim Avatar

      Oh dear! Bruce, please accept my most abject apologies! I am so very sorry. I have no idea where my brain went, but I believe I’ve corralled that recalcitrant sucker and put it back to work.

  4. www.bethanyareid.com Avatar

    A gorgeous and heartbreaking poem.

  5. teksandtoshasweb Avatar

    Love this poem. It is hauntingly lyrical and stays with me after I read it.

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