Bio Note: Poetry, to me, is sometimes a slow unfurling of petals, and a rapid rush of raindrops, at others, inevitably elemental, even if it's about the melting asphalt on city roads and rattling trains through nights of nowhere. It's a slow humming in the soul as seeds begin to sprout in its soil, and the song of wings as birds take flight.
She left without a sign, without a farewell turn. I saw her shaking shoulders and thought she was sobbing from a nightmare as she often used to in the past. All I could think of was to get a glass for her dentures which had fallen out, and how she never forgot to soak them before she retired. Strange, how silly details become so important in a crisis, I could almost hear her telling me what to do, her voice calm, with just that hint of urgency. I did it, too, fast dialling the doc, calling the paramedics, taking out her emergency medicine with fumbling fingers, phoning Ron, our neighbour. Afterwards, her brother asked why didn't I remember to call him immediately at the time seeing he was the nearest kin, and the closest in the line. Well, I shall not atone for, at least, that sin, believing blood calls on its own. Had he not known anything, at all? Had he not been waiting for that phone? No premonition? None? And anyway, was he as alone as I am now, or shall be soon as the realisation slowly starts to sink in?
The workman crawled up the steep slope of the urban mount, vertical rock face going straight up to the heights, dish antennae, solar panels and the like planted on its peak, flags of modern existence that speak the language of apparent ascent, of utility and sustainability, where technology is the new mythology. In the mellow winter sunshine as he hangs from his harness, suspended by the slightest of threads, in the swaying momentum of the moment, does his head hum as he breathes the rare air? Does the thought of a plunge, a dactylic descent in life's rhythm cross his mind, the shiver of a shadow momentarily darkening the window?
©2023 Ajanta Paul
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