NYCWP Voices: Three poems by Kruti Suba

Once monthly, the New York City Writing Project celebrates the teacher-as-writer by publishing works of poetry and prose written by its teachers. If you are interested in submitting your work to NYCWP Voices, please read the submissions guidelines and submit your work by email to voices@nycwritingproject.org.


 

Given Name

 

The day she was born they called her her grandmothers’ reincarnation.

Same smile, same face, her presence

 

Just a few breaths old she was defined as the past born again.

 

As she grew older they pampered and coddled her. Hugs and presents. Time and attention.

Soon she learned to get her way.

Only a couple of years old then, she was defined as a princess from a fairytale.

 

Time flew by and every so often she would hear a new name, a new title, a new recognition. Some stayed, some

didn’t.

 

With new relationships came more definitions a dancer, a friend, a girlfriend, a foe, an ex; until it became

difficulty to keep up. Confused, flustered, desperate to be, to find herself in those names, she kept looking for

the person she was supposed to be, wanting to do justice to her many names.

 

Trying not to let anyone down or prove anyone wrong. Trying hard to be what they saw in her, she worked and

worked to be all of it, all at once, until the weight of her being was too much to carry. She fell, no longer being

able to hold the burden.

 

Then they looked at her fallen, broken and called her a loser, a failure. So she looked up once again, gathered

every last bit of courage she could find in her and started all over again to be what they said she was. And as she

stood up again she smiled to herself because she knew there were more names she’d have to keep up to.

 


 

The Cursed One

 

Don’t touch her

Run away

Be as far as you can

 

She knows no love

She knows no feelings

She has ruined many a precious moments

 

You can’t love her

You can’t keep her close to you

She will ruin everyone who lays even a finger on her

 

No, she can’t be liked

No, she can’t be in your life

No, not even behind closed doors

 

So what if you once liked her

So what if you once thought her to be worthy of your love

No, she is not the one for you

Not today

Not ever

 

Hide her

Throw her

Please, please, please don’t wear her

Yes, this green dress

No. No you can never wear it.

 


 

 

An Ode

 

We met under the most unusual circumstances.

I hadn’t prepared for you, wasn’t expecting you.

Then suddenly out of nowhere there I was, in your arms,

you by my side all night long, nursing me to health as if it was what you had always done.

Me with my head on your shoulder, comforted by your warmth,

a feeling I had long forgotten.

 

We met under the most unusual circumstances.

I hadn’t prepared for you, wasn’t expecting you.

Then suddenly out of nowhere we were walking hand in hand around this city of dreams as if it were just the

thing we’d been doing all our life.

You with your smile and insights into your life, small peeks into your heart,

a happy day thus far.

 

We met under the most unusual circumstances.

I hadn’t prepared for you, wasn’t expecting you.

Then suddenly out of nowhere I am being pampered like never before.

Coffee in bed, breakfast at the table, chocolates in teal wrapping-

small things you do, no words needed.

 

We met under the most unusual circumstances.

I hadn’t prepared for you, wasn’t expecting you.

Then suddenly out of nowhere we were sharing dreams and hopes and aspirations and fears.

Holding each other close,

revealing ourselves to another,

and now here comes the bumpy ride.

You can see the crazy and let me find it in you too, but

at the end of the day when I lay by your side and you hold me tight,

I fall asleep to your heart beating right next to mine,

to that rhythm I sleep

knowing there’ll be more of you on the other side.


 

IMG_7793Born and raised in India, KRUTI SUBA has always been inspired by the strength and determination of women in her life – her works reflect that. As an ESL teacher at Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn Kruti empowers her diverse class to tell their stories and take pride in their culture.

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