How long this time till you return?

there’s one thing that has remained the same is my love for corners and moments, and that’s what my poems have consistently talked about.



You see, my mother was a strange woman
she planted trees every summer and every winter
she dug them out. Nimbly walking around the house
she lit them up one by one to remember my father’s hair
and how it burnt through a December night

While tufts and tufts of ashen death
kept filling up our corridor
where gently gentle flowers now
bloom every waking hour.



The autumn of your death
still sleeps in your bed
like a scab this memory
of you stumbling
on the threshold of our house
your house
come visit again father
the sun will sear your soul



This end of winter is wrapped
in a scarf you got from the hills
your mist-covered absence
has taught me how to hold
a pine cone upside down
like an hourglass

From the other side of the lake
ten years ago you’d asked

How long this time till you return

A week after all these years
now smells like a year-long grief


How do you write poems?

My process of writing hasn’t remained the same. Previously, the last lines of a poem would come very spontaneously to me and I would build the beginning based on how the ending sounded in my head. Now, writing has become less spontaneous. It’s pointless to delve into the whys and hows of it. Now, I am more conscious of the craft of a poem, the images I choose are thought out and planned more consciously than before. 


Sahana Mukherjee is currently pursuing research as an M.Phil scholar at Jadavpur University. She is the 2017 Charles Wallace Fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Creative Writing. Her poems have previously been published in The Sunflower Collective, The Four Quarters Magazine, Galway Review, Café Dissensus, Vayavya, Voice and Verse Poetry Magazine and more. Her first book of poems, August Ache is out and can be ordered at


Sahana Mukherjee

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