The Escape

by Iqra Raza

There was a purpose, of course. I don’t know of anyone
who has been on a pilgrimage for ‘some fun’. Don’t you see the
lines of a resolve still etched on her sallow skin? The promise
she made to me, that of returning soon to rechristen herself

Emma the day after  and begin a new life. Straightening
the mangled curls of her hair, as she ironed the
wrinkles on her night suit. Her tongue rolled
in a hurried succession, stumbling over the words

‘Communion’ and ‘Crucifixion’ as she stumbled
over the guitar strings as a kid, but played
‘silent night’ to perfection yesterday while

narrating the plans of a pilgrimage the very next

morning. She repeated the stumbled words
And they escaped her tongue like a soft song. Today,
I tried hard to save the holy water from trickling away
from between the bony fingers of my cupped hands, or

was it the hope of seeing my daughter return, that
escaped? Or the loose page of bible on her lap? Or
a blank sheet with the word Emma on it? Or the shrill cry that
pierced the house before the receiver went mute in static? 


Author Biography: Iqra Raza is a young poetry enthusiast living in New
Delhi, India. She is currently in the last year of her high school. She plans to
go for English Hons. and later an MFA in creative writing. She loves reading,
writing and playing the piano (though she doesn’t know how to).

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