'To Have Loved' by Bhaswati Ghosh

Updated: Jun 12

What a beautiful thing it is to have loved.

To stand next to a Japanese maple tree slowly

dying and admire the burgundy stars

shimmering on its branches in sunlight.

To hold a father's unsteady hands as the

breath ebbs out of him on an uncertain night.

To dig through rubble, fresh and still warm from

the bomb that fashioned it, for your daughter's

missing doll. To chat with your friend's

granddaughter over Whatsapp, epistles of

encrypted affection. To think of your daughter's

face, now in prison, with a trembling heart and

a colourless smile. What if you don't make it until

she's freed? To let go. Of a withering Japanese

maple, your father's sentience, the head of your

child's lost doll, the hope to see your daughter again.

To have loved is to make peace with loss even though.

To have loved is to know the insolence of desire.

Copyright. Bhaswati Ghosh.

Bhaswati Ghosh lives in Ontario, Canada where she writes and translates fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her first book of fiction is 'Victory Colony, 1950'. Her first work of translation from Bengali into English, 'My Days with Ramkinkar Baij' won her the Charles Wallace (India) Trust Fellowship for translation. Bhaswati’s writing has appeared in several literary journals, including Scroll, The Wire, Cargo Literary, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Pithead Chapel, Warscapes, and The Maynard. Visit her at

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