Poetry | ‘Walk a Mile’ & ‘Home’ | Shefali Banerji | Creative Writing Workshop

Walk a Mile 

and then another mile 
as if you have undertaken the task of destruction 
into your palms. 

I sense my bones cracking, 
my feet skinned, 
my knees peeled off like an orange ripened to bitterness, 
all, only to know the truth 
of your heart,

to make excuses for your shooting of doves
all night 
in the backyard,

I know how they bother you!

Peace is for the faint-hearted, you say, 
and I know then whose body your gun will disfigure


Now I see
in a hot gnarling flash,
thunderstruck into skies,
why I’ve forever seen white 
where it rains red.

How your shoes were a size too tough 
for my midget feet
glazed as they were 
with the blood of previous conquests.

The night shies away into the colours 
of your victory 

and I see white 
under your feet
walking the last mile
into your shoes,


before I step out 
into the sun, 

into happy oblivion.



on the banks of river mandovi, the tides beckon
to sleep within the womb
and never return to this space
which has no place 
for us


here is a family that serves the perfect social excuse
to say i live in a happy home
 one crowded with silence, yet not efficient:
like an insurance policy.


There are familiar faces around but
i am alone – washed ashore the river
as it calls me back home 


an ensemble of happy faces
lined on the wall
leaves on the sidewalk, a furtive covenant with fall


mother, the soft ebb of water; father, the hollow between rocks
children, the gullible game of the ocean
soft crustaceans, lambs of the world, 
tumbleweeds on spiteful earth


in the tender blush of the rain
if you propped yourself on the ground
came a little closer, you’d see 


how home is nowhere 
and everywhere to be found


in-between the soggy earth and rebellious skies
amidst the rows of ants going to work,


the cluster of crickets playing cops
signalling daybreak and a caesura,


you would find the definition of home
in the suds of footprints on the shore:
a synonym
a sigh
a substitute


you would find the definition of home
somewhere between     the clefts in the river     and a heron’s hunting call

Born in Haryana, and brought up in Himachal, Shefali Banerji is a poet, writer and performer, currently residing in Calcutta. Having finished her Master’s degree in English at the University of Calcutta, Shefali works as a copywriter in a digital marketing agency and has had her work published in HeatherRigorousSnapdragon JournalCologne of Heritage: Incredible Bengal, and others.

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