Monday, October 26, 2015

A certain death

You are now defined by what you do not have
What the world wants is for you to quietly die
The old man said, sitting by my side
On the park bench, glad to see someone
Who didn't turn his face away
Even took his skull candy off
To listen to him or at least pretend to
He could well have been my father
Complaining of the very son
Perhaps taking good care of him
I've seen him talk to strangers like this
Stoically taken glares thrown after
As if reading my mind, he said ---
Those in the midst of their winter
Having weathered a long life
Have a right to be heard
Even if they mix up facts a little
Taking liberty with personal histories
For a touch of sympathy ---
He dusted his past
For another telling 
I've overheard him narrate the story of his life
To others like this
In this well-tended park
Of pruned hedges and avenue trees  
How similar all our stories are!
Of fathers, sons and daughters
There were no inhibitions
To make him keep out
Things he would have kept out
Probably In his younger days ---
What is there to hide now
When time has had its say, he said
Nothing hurts or shames now;
Anyway, you are now marked by what
You have not done
What you do not know
Though what you had has been taken away
Without asking, for as they say
Time will have its way
Now, all you have and do not have
Is what has passed away
What you keep retelling
Is a tale that turns more incoherent
At every telling
As footloose as the aadi wind
That some say speaks of
The sea, rain, seeds and a certain death
That is not a death

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