Somewhere deep in the alcoves of my mind, clear turquoise waters lap gently against the silver shore, on a hot summer day.
I run forward until the water is touching my waist. I look around to see who will fish me out if I venture any deeper. Faraway on the shore, Aai and her friends are sitting under an umbrella, draped in yards of georgette with floral prints. Women don’t swim publicly in these parts of the world. Not even expats. But I am only a little girl still… flat as a surfboard… devoid of any womanliness and so, protected from the male gaze. Why, even my curls are cropped close to my head. It’s a nod to my free spirit that soars high, higher than my brother’s… and even at eight, I am convinced that gender has nothing to do with the freedom to be.
So today I am going to be a seagull, or a sea turtle, or maybe I would like to be a starfish… The possibilities of make-believe are endless and exciting. Then I notice Baba floating on his back. I have found my make-believe for the day.
I hurry forward, until I am sure he can hear me… at least I hope he does because the waves are gathering around my shoulders and I daren’t go in any further. “Baba, I want to be dead too!”
Streaked with salty air
Mind is a watery grave
Today I’m the sea
I discovered haiku rather late… but it has quickly become the form that I explore the most.
This is my second haiku in the #BlogchatterA2Z2022 challenge. I am always open to conversations, so do leave a comment if you enjoyed, or would like to critique.