Shadows


She turns the key in the lock
knowing she will step into darkness
How long has it been
since she has turned the light on
Her fingers find the switch
With a flick the room
is bathed in a gentle glow
She wonders why
everything still seems black
The room smells of loneliness
No matter how many doors
and windows she throws open
the fresh air never quite seems
to blow the gloom away
She hesitates not knowing
what to do next
a steaming bath with scented salts
or a piping hot meal
neither seems worth the effort
She sinks down on the sofa
switches the tv on
desultory surfing of channels
yields nothing that will distract her
from the emptiness
that gnaws on her tattered nerves
She forces herself to go to the kitchen
it’s almost time for dinner
Eyes closed, she takes a deep breath
to stop herself from screaming
sets to work, chopping, stirring, tossing
She hears the clatter of steps
the door swings open
We’re home, comes the familiar cry
She fixes a smile on her face
goes out to greet her family
Time quickly whizzes by
until the house is quiet again
She turns out the lights
She has lived through another day
but it gets harder each time
Tomorrow’s shadow has already begun
to draw its cloak around her
One day, she knows,
she will sink into its folds

© 2015 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

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