Poetry: The Stent by Maya Eashwaran

In “The Stent,” the speaker laments the illness of her father, using fruit as a metaphor for life and hardship. In the end, there is even empathy for the disease: who could resist her father’s heart?


The Stent

In the beginning, my father finds

a grape in his chest.


The facts of the case are few.

A hit to the jugular can end a

grown man. Mothers who haven’t

screamed in years, still refrain.


In the valleys, winemakers crush

vats of severed grapes by foot in

order to control the path of


destruction. To de-skin, to

marble, to squeeze, to assert

war in each footfall. To shred.


My father feels the warmth

before the burning. Inside

his chest, the cavity is quiet

and untraveled and a single

light bulb hangs from a thread


above a small writing desk, a home.

The grape lives, learns to read and

write and dance and when my

father coughs a ghost flies from


his body and crawls to my door

where I lie awake in a purple

mist, the figure prying my

fist open like fruit, like


offering. In the beginning

we let the grapes be. They

swelled and grew knobbed arms

and legs and we watched

them live and we watched


my father’s face grow skinless.

And who am I to blame it,

the grape, in my father’s concave

body, the artery and the skin and


the air and the mother’s

short shriek, the battlefield under

my stomping feet shaking.


In the beginning, a grape sits in

my father’s heart. It is warm and

outside, so cold. Who am I to blame

it? Who wouldn’t want to stay



Maya Eashwaran

Maya Eashwaran is an Indian-American poet originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently a senior at Princeton University, majoring in Politics and getting a certificate in the Program in Creative Writing. Maya has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and she served as the 2016 National Student Poet for the Southeast. Her poems are recently published in Hobart and Birdfeast Magazine and are forthcoming in the Asian American Writer’s Workshop’s “The Margins.” On campus, she is a freelance journalist with the University Press Club and a member of Songline Slam Poetry.

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