The sardines – I fried them up today.
They had been occupying freezer space for a while.
From the huge one in the Indian grocery store to the smaller one at home.
They carried with them the scent of the sea.
The heady, salty whiff that carried me back home.
Well, home or close to home.
They smelt like the sea.
The salty, slightly repugnant air of the sea.
The air along my ravaged coasts.
The beaches that bore a haunted look
After the sea came in to swallow her children,
And left behind an ocean of tears.
A terrifying, hollow empty sea
Of desolation and devastation.
Emotions till then unassociated with home, or my beaches.
White tales of horror, the unending sorrow of the dead living.
Waiting buses that no one came back to.
Newly sprung hills they called graves.
And the phantom cries of the children
Disrupting the roar of silence.