but kept in the desk drawer, 
proof I did once fit in the brown bend of his arm. 
Proof too that he gave me 
his dark-eyed smile, then nothing more. 
He stands tall beside Family. 
A drooping pear tree 
in that rented English garden, 
that corner of July sky. I am days old. 
I am days old too, years later, 
You look just like 
but nothing of the sort. 
The alarm is set for seven-thirty, 
the table set for three on cold formica grain. 
Distance is relative, but I’m not designed 
for walking on the wings of planes. 

An old wolf of a day

Bare-arm bearable when light winks through rheumy eyes, 
but slow grey stealth brings plucked-goose flesh 
on the howling. 
In the teeth of it, the house cracks its knuckles and makes taut 
its balustrade against a slobbering at the windows, 
let-me-in licking at the sills. 
Whole branches lose their grip, 
recyclables paradiddle down the road. 
Until my-what-big-ears and tail brush hush. 
All the better to foetal and hide 
then cut open its belly and find me inside. 


Saradha Koirala studied at the IIML in 2007. The poems ‘Framed’ and ‘An Old Wolf of a Day’ were part of her MA folio. She currently works as an English teacher.