On your first birthday
I gift you this poem
And I pray each verse
Envelopes you like summer’s warm embrace
The kind I’d give you if you were here.
I’m trying hard to string the words together
For me to write on pain, mundane or far-fetched things
That I’ve allowed to settle to the depths of my heart
I’m not sure where to start
I dare not think of how far
away you are
from me. Instead, I close my eyes and breathe in the air.
Conjuring up the scent in your hair-
the one right before it’s time for your next hair wash.
It works like an elixir- gosh!
And in my mind,
I see you by my side, asleep, your eyes fluttering
Your chest gently heaving
To a rhythm;
your soft breathing, a hymn
To my ear.
Now you know why, though you’re not here
It’s taken me so long to write you a poem.
This is how I’ve learnt to carry on till you’re back home-
Conjuring, loving, watching
that the cuckoo bird forever sings
and that you, my sweet child, spread your wings.
Smitha Vishwanath is a banker turned writer. She began her writing journey in 2016 through her blog. Thieving Magpies, Spillwords Press, Silverbirch Press, Borderless Journal, and Rebelle Society have published her poetry. In 2019, her poem, 'Omid' was nominated for Best of the Net and her poems, 'Do you have dreams?' and 'Forgotten' were given special mention in NaPoWriMo, 2021 and 2022, hosted by Maureen Thomson. In addition, she was awarded the Reuel International Prize for poetry by the online group TSL. In 2019, she co-authored a book of poetry, 'Roads- A journey with Verses', which received positive reviews. Smitha's writing is peppered with the lessons learned from the plethora of invaluable experiences that come from having lived in India, UAE and Iran, worked in a multi-cultural environment and travelled widely. She resides in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing, you can find her painting, travelling, or sharing reviews of books she has read on Goodreads, Amazon, and her blog. Her debut novel 'Coming Home' was released on 24th March 2023 and is currently available through Amazon on Kindle and as paperback, in most countries.