Every winter, we packed bags

To visit our maternal grandparents

As the wheels stopped squeaking

I would eagerly jump on the platform


Mother trying to catch hold of my little hand and

Father that of the younger one

I chirped all along, as we slipped past the glowing crowd

Crawling slowly out from the blankets of heavy slumber


The city buzzed stranger refrains into my tiny earmuffs  

Sss-strange, sss-stranger, ever more sss-stronger

To it, I would hiss wordless lullabies


On arriving, grandma would hold us in her tender arms, and

Pa would patiently await his turn, to plant a kiss on each forehead

Together we would witness the day melting away

Peacefully paving night’s way


On one such night we danced to some old tunes

The veranda burning warm under swimming fireflies    

I tossed the slippers in midair and skipped around


At once, my right foot was touched with a hot sting   

Horrified, I cried aloud in pain!

Timely assistance flew in, on swifter wings

They looked once and then looked again, yet none found a thing  

I wiped the rolling tears and stared at the blazing mark

Shrouded in the dark, the visitor left, while I sat nursing my bruised heel



Anisha Kaul is a poet with a Master’s in English Literature, presently living in New Delhi, India. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Cardigan Press, Ink Drinkers Poetry, Ethel Zine, Splintered Disorder Press, Fevers of the Mind, Dwelling Literary, From the Farther Trees, and Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, among others. She loves to write about herself in the third person. You can reach out to her on twitter @anishakaul9.