One Poem by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

The Firebird

It has come to an ultimatum
it’s either him or dance
the dilemma that chips at them –
he craves progeny
continuation of his name
while she fears childbirth
the damage to her art

today he shows up backstage
with an air of finality
the image of the sorcerer –
Koschei the Deathless
gone are the smiles
of the prince she once saw
when he pledged his heart to her
those days when he gazed
from the front rows
long-stemmed roses in his arms
her mythical Ivan
as her feet blazed across the stage
the pirouetting Firebird

today he’s come to tell her
that he’s leaving for good
the double bass watches
mute in the shadows
strings wound taut
to snapping point
like the muscles of her calves
tensing, trembling
throbbing beneath the shroud
of her net and tulle

his footsteps echo and fade
in the dimly-lit alley
and she watches him blend
into the charcoal night
a distant bulb crackles
and the shucks of her spirit
ebb and vaporise
like the warlock’s eggshell soul.

 

Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a Sydney artist, poet, and pianist, of Indian heritage. Her recent works have been published in numerous print and online literary journals and anthologies including Nine Muses Poetry, The Pangolin Review, and Poetica Review, and are forthcoming in Unlost Journal, Ethel Zine, Otoliths, and elsewhere.

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