Three poems by Shailja Sharma

At My Funeral

A man, he was, I think.

A pair of solid arms,

Swinging like bands of a rainbow to

Embrace me divinely.

Somewhat visible within

Inches of my consciousness,

Breathing by my breaths.

His breaths ran past the second,

I hit my thresholds.

A man, he was, I think.

Treating my corpse with

Gentlemanly grace at my funeral.

Who else would put a woman’s needs first?

Whether or not I was alive,

His priority did not change.

Yet working hard to mask his tears,

(To match social expectations)

At the loss of his loved one.

The one carrying this ordeal of a task:

A man, he was, I think.

My man, he was, I know.

Published in Different Truths, May 2022

The Bee

Capsuled in the tulip flower

The bee asked herself

“Who brought me here?”

And then she said

She was like the deer

Who looked for scent everywhere

To find it inside its own body

The echo of her own longing

Brought the bee there

The lava of her melting heart

Traveled her to places

Where no one could be

She created her own paths

With her own obstacles

And then questioned the petals

Of the innocent tulip flower

“Who brought me here?”

Published in Cultural Reverence, June 2023

The Silhouette

Whose milk is in my bones,

whose blood is in my veins,

marks of her lap

my body carries-

tearing off the sky,

my eyes can still witness

a Silhouette

A Silhouette…

with a bun at the back

gold earrings hanging in either ear

a chain swirling out

the fragrance of her sandal wood

purified my room

Your hair was dipped in scented oil

always combed to perfection

the softness of your fabric

smoothed my worries

eyes were sharper than a magnifying glass

Grandmother, when you were gone,

one corner of my square broke for ever…

tearing off the sky,

my eyes can still witness

A Silhouette-

vaster than the sky

I still feel you, Grandmother….

Published in Setu, February 2023


Shailja Sharma (Ph.D.), USA, is a mental health provider and a multilingual author. Apart from scholarly publication and editorial service, her literary writings have been widely published. Dr. Sharma’s publications have appeared in many literary journals/forums of repute across USA, Canada, UK, and Asia. Her writings have appeared in #1 Best Selling anthologies published nationally and internationally. Dr. Sharma’s poetry book, “Dear Mama: An Immigrant’s Secret Cry,” has been critically acclaimed. She was awarded a special literary honor for her writing contributions in international languages.

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