• Antara Basu

A GOOD MAN'S BURDEN

I feared knocks on doors, like the girl in a horror film.

Though she ran from scripted souls.

And I lived with a man, devoid of a soul.

The knock of the door, that came with him.

Like he was the siren,

But I was never Odysseus.

“A good man”, my Ma used to say.

When she coated the cuts on my thighs

With Boroline and ignorance.

Just as she pretended not to hear my screams at night.

A good man that loved me, the way he loved her.

Days after days, I covered the bruises.

Red as the Sindoor in the parting of Ma’s hair.

I washed the blood-soaked sheets,

When it never was that time of the month.

My grandmother once told me,

What her brother, did to her

But that he was “a good man.”

Somethings are for womenfolk to bear,

But I had to be grateful for I lived with “a good man.”

Who called himself my father.