Holding On To A Memory


I didn’t dare
to meet your gaze
unwilling to let you see
the longing in my eyes

I focused instead
on your hands
resting on the table

but I couldn’t reach out
to hold them
for fear I wouldn’t let go

So I let you walk away
And held on to your memory

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved


A Different Kind Of Loss


He never held out his arms to me
or swung me high
He never sat me on his knee
and told me funny stories
He never tickled me
into a fit of giggles
and never hugged me tight
when I wept

I would have liked
to squeal with delight
when he threw me
up in the air
secure in knowing
he would always catch me

I would have liked
to hold his hand
and skip along merrily
messily slurping ice cream
and have him gently
wipe my grubby hands

I would have liked to have
fond memories
of wonderful times
spent with him

I would have liked
to tell him I loved him
but to me he was a stranger
brooding, dark, fearful
Not knowing
what would annoy him
I stayed out of his way

I would have liked to be
a pampered Daddy’s girl
But I never really knew
my father while he lived
and death
was just another way
of losing him

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Take A Step Back


Your silence shreds my nerves
I see our relationship scattering
like the confetti
they threw at our wedding
My confidence disintegrates
the way the fireworks
you surprised me with
faded after lighting up the sky
My anger is insignificant
my tears are irrelevant
Our strained bond a black hole
that threatens to swallow me

Perhaps I should step back
put some distance between us
Then we will know
if the chasm can be bridged

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Sounds of Slumber


Your breath, soft as a
tentative declaration of love
gentle as a summer breeze
through rustling leaves

Your lashes, resting on the
pillowy softness of your cheek
Your silken tresses
an ebony curtain shielding your face

Your honeyed sighs
Your lilting chortle
the dulcet sounds
of your slumber,
a soothing lullaby

A forever melody

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Poetry Is… Your Name


The whisper of the phone
nestling in the crook
of my neck reminds me
of your fingers
scribbling love notes
on my skin

The honeyed lilt in your voice
pours music to my ears
a welcome distraction
from the poem
that refuses to be written

I give myself to the rhythm
of your glorious tones
drifting on the rise and fall
of your magnetic cadence
long into the silence

Until the spell breaks
and I gather sheets of paper
on which I have scribbled,
over and over,
your name

Is this not poetry too?

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

Struggle For Survival


The grief sloshes inside
the way a few extra fingers
of whiskey do when I try
to drown my sorrows
in the fiery liquid

When the high evaporates
along with the alcohol
the despair once again
returns to high tide

I would let it all
pour out at your feet
But I hesitate to shatter your illusions
You, who are oblivious to the war
I wage every day just to exist

You, who have only seen the smiles,
and wonder how it’s all so easy for me
I can’t show you the stings
left by my struggle for survival

for the only thing I don’t wear
on my sleeve is my pain

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved

The Face This World Will See


Setting out
pots and brushes
I get to work on
a blank canvas
Spreading colour
I paint and smudge
dab and shade
wipe clean and redo

I look at it in the light
then in shadow
From this angle and that
I scrutinise my creation
It has to reflect me
yet be different

Every day I recreate
my masterpiece
step out the door
wearing the face
this world will see

© 2017 Uma Venkatraman ~ All Rights Reserved