In a Graveyard

Cemetery Cross Crow Grave Black Stone

I always wonder what it would be like
To lose a loved one.

And I imagine leaving a white lily
Where she would be – my wife who passed away from cancer.
I look around to see the lichen covered tombstones
The weeds of nidikumba flowering in purple
The sight of crows heckling the worms.
And one flower that seemed like it
Was an anomaly.

One lily, it takes to bring back
Avalanches of nostalgia, getting bigger by the minute
Until a whale surfaces on my eyes.
The subordinate tear, rivers on cheek beds,
The landslides of emotions,
And a crucible where they all mix.

Despair, like a virus, infects me
Manifesting a stubborn strain of loneliness
A man who is still hanging on to her
Like a thirsty baby to a milk-packed nipple
And I look like a phantom; pale as alabaster,
Fragile as limestone, shrinking like
A raisin under the scorching South Asian sun.

There are no short-cuts to grief
Just a long reel of kite thread that you hold on to
As long as you can, to remember
Those halcyon days of kite-running.
When I was the runner and she was the kite
And I, running against the wind,
Until she was convulsing in body
Whistling like a wooden flute

And now I look at that long reel of string
And all I can think is how beautiful kiting was.

Two bodies held together by one thread
Threshing to the gushing wind.


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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