Submissions open for Wingword Poetry Prize 2020

Dreams in a Ragged Sack

MAITRAYEE BORDOLOI

I walked into the mist with a heart of a fighter
One coated with joy, dreams and oblivious laughter.
I walked with the stealth of a hunter
Into what I knew not was a crowd of hungry mindless vultures.
They smirked with a broken and toothless smile
In hushed voices questioning my gile.
With a power like a chameleon to deceive
They hid their secrets high up their sleeve.
Their scales are scratched yet claws are bared
To invade into my space was all they seemed to care.
They spoke in a language I understood not
In a dialect that I seem to have forgot,
But I only knew it sounded so shrill
In an instant all my thoughts it could kill.
Why then I wanted them to love me, to accept my faith
Wanting my radiance to be brighter than any hate?
I believed I wasn’t naïve to trust their wings with my dreams
I wanted them to be desperately on my team.
But vultures they were after all
Slowly they build the bridge to my fall.
“How dare you dream?” they screeched
“You are naught but a woman who breached!”
I trembled with every step I dragged
No voice I raised nor unjust I tracked.
Piece by piece I let myself fail
Till my fantasies left no trail.
I let their eyes search me over and even when I fret,
I let them smell my fears off my drenching sweat.
I let them collect my visons in a ragged sack
And watched them fling it over in attack.
My strut became a limp; my own dreams I let them pimp.
I was hungry I needed to feed
My dreams were my soul’s favorite greed
My spark was my body’s weightless wings
But now my soul only melancholically sings.
The memory of my hopes sailing in a ragged sack
Is a fading sight in the mind’s visible cracks.
Now I need to feed,
My soul is hungry but to my dreams it pays no heed.
It is thriving on what the vultures eat
The blood, the deceit, the conceit.
My keen eyes hunt for a prey
Restlessly seeking her everyday.
I can now understand the language that sounded so shrill
From the smell of fears and self-doubts I gain my thrill.
I roam with the vultures who all now seem so wise
How wrong was I to doubt their minds and think they were in disguise
Wait, I see someone walk through the mist, who on achieving her dreams insist!
Who is stenched with joy, dreams and oblivious hopes,
But with reality she seems to grope.
I hear a stranger’s voice escape my lips
“How dare you dream?” I flip!
You are naught but a woman who breeched”
The stranger’s voice from within me screeched.
She turned to me and gleaned, “Didn’t you ever dream?”
Something like bile rose in my throat and steamed,
All my soul thirsted for again, were my sleeping dreams
And the hunger, to revive their lost esteem.


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