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The Voice Within

From Wild Onions 2020: The Voice Within Us

Winner, Theme Creative Writing Award
Fellow, Department of Medicine
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Fellowship

In memory of my mother, Nirmala Daley.

All the things I thought today
that did not turn to words,
like the whisper of a girl
lost in bustling herds,
like rays of the morning sun
that reach across the sky
before billowing, grey clouds
bid its warmth goodbye,
like the gleaming rainbow
that leads me to no end
but cajoles me to follow it
over and under each bend,
I feel your presence near me,
though you leave no trace behind
but all the precious memories
I guard stiffly in my mind.

Judge’s comments

The voice of a parent or individual who reared us is often prominent in our patterns of thinking and reactions to the world around us – this reflection on how the author’s mother is part of her inner voice seems so resonant and relatable.