It occurred to me the other day
as I sat slicing and squeezing lemons
on a hot summer afternoon,
That the life of an urban lemon from birth to death
is much as I imagine ours
on one of my cynical Saturdays.
into one small ball of golden possibilities,
We start out bright and plump
With a spring to us, a resilience to pressure.
There’s a scent on our skin
If youth had a smell, this would be it.
Confined to the refrigerator
We slowly harden
Tougher and yet more brittle.
Our skins turning brown
As though burnt
In an honest day’s work in the sun.
When we are finally removed, washed,
And chopped round our fat middles
We resign ourselves
To the next step in our fate.
In fact
It is almost a relief to be slotted into our final coffin,
And as the walls close in on us
And darkness descends,
To have life’s juice wrung from our tired bodies.


Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

Kalyani Raghunathan

Kalyani Raghunathan is an economist working on poverty, health and nutrition in the development sector. She is based in Delhi, where she was born and raised, and has recently begun writing poetry and short essays in her spare time.