The sun drips from our tin roof.
The white wall of our house
absorbs the old apple tree’s shadow,
turning it into a wonder.
Your bicycle rests below fiery Chinars.
In the kitchen a stove burns,
on the table an old copper samovar,
the lingering aroma of kahwa,
translucent sugar, local breads, pickles
raisins and walnuts, all wait.
Two low wooden stools, a bench
and copperware gleaming in the sun.
Half burnt incense on a silver plate,
In a nearby room, tapestry cushions,
rugs, kangris and hand woven shawls.
Photographs of us posing, silverware,
a curio cabinet, on its top a cigarette case.
Neatly arranged on the dressing table,
silver jewellery, a comb, a kohl stick,
and a walnut box waiting to be filled.
Jasmine floats in a crystal bowl
next to the bed, a quilt is folded neatly,
a pair of slippers on the floor, musty books
on shelves. On the wall a calendar,
a notepad hanging next to it.
On the rose and green shaded porch,
a paddle loom dressed for work.
On the steps I wait, as I do every day—
my belly swollen, a lotus bud in my hair—
for your return to make this house a home.
First published in Open Road Review .