Hiraeth, Poem by Devika Menon.
I feel the sounds of the chainsaw drilling in my jaw,
Sawdust in the summer breeze still takes me back to that evening,
When they slashed down the place we called home.
They stripped her of her beauty,
Drained her of the magic she held in her bones.
Until she became a silhouette of who she used to be.
Until her healing collapsed into crumbs of a memory.
But what did they do to the place that watched us grow?
Amidst the jokes we threw into the lake,
And the spider webs on our bike,
Someone found us bask in her glory and
thought it best if she doesn’t survive.
We arrive at the crime scene a year late,
Scrabbling for the pieces of us we misplaced in,
The creaks on the sidewalk.
Expectations of the time capsule we hid,
In the womb of the trees that turned into a void
In the span of a birthday.
So while we tremble at the sight of a massacre
So unkind it leaves their palms crimson red for eternity,
The space between her ribs echoes a tragic song
We hum the tunes to every fortnight.
As we stand with blood-dried footprints at the sight of her ruins,
Hiraeth washes over us at golden hour like a thunderstorm.
And with every fallen leaf, she wallows:
These trees will never forgive us.
We’re too late;
has already forgotten us.