the surviving trees and
the wandering moon,
are they still the same
The dusty locality
with twisted lanes/leaning houses,
the neighbours sitting outside, chatting
in the yellow sun, curs barking, kids fighting
over the ball?
Do the wooden doors always open these days
or shut on your face in alarm?
The summer breeze
evening/night; morning/day/afternoon lazing around
the bends in the uneven streets and crowded bazaars?
Does Ma’s wrinkled visage lights up, when someone
knocks in the late evenings; temple bells chiming in the background; her eyes searching the dim courtyard?
Does she still call out my name in the sedated sleep?
How does the water taste from that rusted hand-pump, near the Tulsi plant?
And the guava tree in the compound?
Do folks automatically smile and greet passing strangers in our dusty town or, have become terrified by the odd looks and dresses worn by them?
Are the old-world courtesies and customs remain the same?
Or, has the sweet town also changed and shut down?
Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 18 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.
Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:
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