The Necklace

I’d always envied my mother’s necklace
Of blood red rubies gleaming bright
That she always wore and always hid
Someplace forbidden day or night.

To my entreaties she patiently once said
Rush not, it’ll be yours in time my dear
Like my mother and those before her
Yet her words filled me with strange fear.

And upon her death (oh, how I wept!)
The coveted necklace was mine at last
How heavy it weighed, as my beloved fastened it
Though doubtless was its beauty unsurpassed.

Lovelier and heavier it grew day after day
Till the mirror revealed its soul bare
The string of rubies – a noose ‘round my neck
As a hunter tightening his snare.

I know not how it came to pass
Between my fingers a trail of red
The glistening rubies, now mere crystals
Lay drab and harmless as if dead.

When whispered voices sweet and low
Of my mother and foremothers – the sounds of home
Voiced their pride and joy and gratitude
Freed at last from shackles of servitude.

Ila Railkar is an MBBS graduate and works as a doctor at Nair hospital, Mumbai. She is a hoarder of books and a lover of history. She can be reached on Instagram at @languagesarelyfn

Featured image credit: Unsplash/Editing: LiveWire