There is a great frontier To conquer Yet. Perhaps, not great By the world's standards But in my series of boundaries It's one that yields discoveries As it shatters the glass into shards. For me to walk through the jagged opening, Past the stream by the estate, The world of picket fences Between neighbours' lawns, Past the contentious curvatures Of myths in the making, And labels that enclose and inhibit The essential fluidity of the self. To the beginning of the end Or, is it the end of a beginning? Where identities coalesce Into an accommodation of otherness-s Hybrid, hyphenated, hydra-headed possibilities Spring from the cave Into the sunlight, Foraging for sustenance and forging a trail. The name of Phyllis Wheatley comes to mind, Female African slave Who fought against all these containing metaphors, To take her place at the source and head Of numerous traditions, establishing markers One could scarcely have contemplated. A painful evolution, returning to roots in order to bloom, And from the margins truly come home.
DR. AJANTA PAUL is an academic based in Kolkata who writes poetry, short stories and literary criticism. Ajanta’s work has been published in journals including Spadina Literary Review, The Pangolin Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poetic Sun, The Bombay Review and The Statesman. She has authored 10 books. Ajanta’s poems and short stories have appeared in seminal anthologies including The Kali Project: invoking the Goddess within/Indian Women’s Voices. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2020.