Paw Prints in My Heart

 

A small bundle of black

Wagging his pointy white-tipped tail

Conquered my heart

When I was five.

 

“No strays!” My mom had yelled

Little did she know how I felt

Knowing he wasn’t mine to keep.

 

Cardboard boxes and old gunny bags

On my tippy toes

I built a home for Blackie,

My pet, who lived not with me.

 

Wet licks of love

Frolicking in the dust

Chasing, running, playing

Blackie left his paw print all over my clothes.

 

One day, a stranger appeared

Stinking of cheap rum

And dirty unwashed layers of clothes.

 

Two days he went around town

Shooting the strays during the day

And boozing in the dim bars at night.

 

Burying my Blackie

Whose white-tipped tail

Was drenched in red,

“No pets ever!” I cried.

 

Now I’m thirty, still I find

Blackie’s paw prints

Stomping all over my heart

And I remind myself, “No pets ever!

 

 

The Stench of Loneliness

 

I would often see her, sitting

Near the window, her gaze fixed

At nothing, rings of smoke curling

In wisps of memories she perhaps

Wanted to discard or maybe

Was hinging onto desperately.

 

We were two people, alone

In our own worlds separated

By an invisible wall hidden

In those swirling cigarette smoke.

 

She is long gone now, defeated

By the burden of pain, she never

Told me but somehow I smelt it

In those puffy smoke unwillingly

Leaving her silent lips.

 

I am all alone now, as lonely

As I was living with my mom

Although the last of the smoke

Billowed away at her funeral pyre

I smell loneliness, the stench of cigarette

Fills my lungs even today.

 

 

A Woman’s Love

 

The sky claims

The sun, moon and the stars

Yet can keep them in her bosom

Only till the time they choose.

 

The sky can’t let loose the sun

At night, nor can it bind the moon

During the day, same with the stars too!

Yet the sky claims

The sun, moon and the stars

As her own

While she struggles

Spreading every inch of herself

Just to keep them in her arms.

 

 

 

Chador Wangmo, Teacher turned Writer, lives in Thimphu, Bhutan with her husband and three children. She has authored three novels and ten illustrated books for children. Although her work is mostly prose, she likes writing poems which has been well received in the literary festivals conducted by FOSWAL at Delhi and Jaipur in India. She has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Literature by the Vikram Sheela Vidyapeeth, Sidharth Nagar, UP. She has also been awarded Sidhartha Tathagat Sansthan Sahitya award in recognition of her contribution to literature.