Two Poems by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

The day after Christmas

like doomed ants in a whirlpool
tourists in faraway Sumatra
swirl in the seismic wave
aerial views streaming on CNN Live –
futile attempts to outswim
the advancing wall of white.

quiet has settled upon my world
the day after Christmas
catatonic, in my hospital gown
as the nurse asks if I want
a drink of water
the channel changed
to something cheerful
her voice sympathetic
but I’m a shell.

the fifteen hours before
a blur of feral screams
of stumbling into ER
hemorrhaging into my shoe
stone eyed doctors hunting
for a glimpse of the yolk sac
a hint of a heartbeat
in the radio silence of my womb.

half a world away
the tsunami flays all in its path
seaplanes over swamps of brown
fields of bodies, broken wood
the Indian Ocean wrecking
the shape of shorelines.

spasms of dull burning sear
the twitch of a cored pear
she rubs my hand in a bid to comfort –
I’m young and healthy

I can try again
vitals measured, noted
she pats a vein, the needle tingling
the cocktail blurring the tv
and its tragedies blank
my mind in free fall
plunging like a stone
in the rushing wave of Trazadone.


a long time ago
in the wake of our loss
you took me to the mountains
to gather myself

it was springtime
and there I saw
jacarandas in bloom
for the first time in my life.

I remember thinking how
the brocade of trees
swishing violet arms
seemed to dust the skies
piercing beyond
into the realms of swarga
where our longed for child
that shriveled and perished
before it could be born
lay thriving, fully formed
cooing in a mauve cradle.

years later we are here
living on a road
that in springtime
turns into a stretch of Elysium
jacarandas thronging either side
of the petal-carpeted boulevard.

and every spring I think
that this is the closest you and I will come
to encountering whatever form of God
exists in the great unknown
the nearest to glimpsing heaven
swirling around in the lilac haze
hands lightly rocking
our angel child’s cradle
in a purple afterlife.


Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a Sydney based artist, poet, and pianist. She holds a Masters in English. Oormila is a member of Sydney’s North Shore Poetry Project and Authora Australis. Her recent works have been published in several literary journals in Australia, the US, and the United Kingdom.

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