Thursday, December 10, 2020

Peanut Butter & You and I - Priscilla Lalnuntluangi

 Peanut Butter

The train from Delhi to Mumbai
was set to last for three days.
Mama and I were on our way to meet daddy.
Mama held my arms tight,
so tight, that it almost made a mark.
I had recently turned five
and girls that age often stray from their mama.

The train was blue, duskier than the sky.
The coolies carried our bags
and mama my arm.
Mama sat me on a bunker,
warned me not to move an inch.
But I moved my head
into the compartment that was next to ours.

There sat a girl that looked like me.
We were so alike
that when I smiled at her,
she smiled at me too.
Her compartment was next to ours
Mama told me they weren’t Indians
Mama told me we weren’t alike
Mama told me we spoke a different tongue.

The girl offered me her peanut butter
I politely took it
Together we sat watching running trees
We talked, never needing language
I knew we were going to be great friends.

The sun rose and set for three days
and so did our time.

Papa stood on the platform, waiting for my hug,
She and I quickly waved a farewell,
Never knowing our names.

Thirteen years have rolled by
and we never met again.

Does she remember me?
I remember her peanut butter.

You and I

Some days
I wish
that I could have your life

On better days
I wonder
Who prayed for mine.

Priscilla Lalnuntluangi lives in Aizawl and is doing her M.Pharm pharmacy practice at Jamia Hamdard. She recently brought out a charming book of poetry and illustrations titled The Dearest Things and maintains a similarly-titled page on Instagram. She has written all her young life and says that while she changes a lot, her poems and words are the only things that have stayed constant. We hope she continues to put her talent to good use in her poetry and art.

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