New Poem – ENTR’ACTE


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 .