The Magnolia Tree

Nupur Joshi*

When Kavi was a young girl

she would sit by her window sill

looking out at her garden,

dreaming of climbing the big Magnolia tree.

She would picture herself

gliding across the branches like a snake

till she reached the topmost peak,

then she would gently pluck out the prettiest flower to put in her hair

and dance around like a true queen.

But each time she went into the garden, ready to climb up the beast

They would come out shaking their heads and clicking their tongues

& say,

“Little girls should not be climbing up trees,

go inside and play with your dolls little one

or better yet, help your mother cook and clean.”

Disappointed, Kavi would go inside

waiting to grow up and be free!

But when she did grow up, at the age of sixteen

her father didn’t know

what to do with the young girl,

who would sit by her window and dream.

So he married her off to the old bum

who lived across the street.

Before Kavi could even bemoan her fate,

she was riddled with babies one, two and three.

As if life hadn’t been unkind enough,

after the birth of her third child

her husband suddenly decided to leave.

He left her for his old mistress

but They still shook their heads and clicked their tongues

& said,

“It must be Kavi’s fault

for she never learnt how to cook and clean.”

Now left all alone with three little ones

he didn’t wish to keep,

Kavi stayed up all night learning to stitch and sew

with little food and no sleep.


with the beautiful clothes she learnt to make,

she decided to go and sell them at the marketplace.

But when she arrived at the market

They  shook their heads and clicked their tongues

& said,

“She must try something new

running a clothing business requires talent,

possessed by only the special few.”

Still she kept on trying until she did succeed,

in not only selling the clothes she had sown

but raising the three little ones all on her own.

Now years later left with

grey hair and dark circles so deep

the three kids out of the house,

Kavi is just glad

she is finally free.

So she thinks now it’s time

to shop for herself

and do as she please,

but when she goes shopping

They shake their heads and click their tongues

& say,

“All these fancy clothes and

expensive jewellery…

Why does an old woman like her need?

At this age she must only remember God

and learn to curb her greed.”

But for so long

They have shaken their heads at Kavi

pointing out her every flaw

telling her what she should and

shouldn’t do,

that Kavi no longer cares.

So every morning she buys herself

the prettiest Magnolia flowers

and adorns her hair.

Then dressed in the finest silk,

she stands in front of the mirror and beams,

she does it all for that little girl,

who never got to climb the Magnolia tree.


*Nupur Joshi is a Writer and Filmmaker whose work has  appeared in international publications like “The Written Tale” and “Literally Literary”. You can read more of her work at and watch her visual poetry at

Banner Image by Norma Miramontes from Pixabay



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