He pushed his foot through
loose sand of the dirt road, low,
the tar-road a bit high and where potholes grow;
the pack of cigarette he forgot at the timber mill
pushed and pulled his thoughts until,
a party announcement rickshaw
pulled along the road, danced through gutters,
muted the crows and dogs for a while;
“darling your sister is a menace, she gossips,”
images of his wife floated loud
as the rickshaw danced along the road.
He kicked the cat slightly,
it brushed along his leg swiftly,
the fish-curry mixed left overs,
the food he puts before it daily,
that probably stays fresh in its mind,
it brushed and he kicked.
At times he remembered his mother,
the scent of paddy fields and cow sheds.
Rows of small houses, local shops, and timber mills,
they stand high and low,
they stand over yesteryears' paddy fields;
local party’s committee offices fly flags over the fertile soil.
He walked through the dirt road.
The cat ran away as the dogs barked,
they ran after the rickshaw
raising dust and tempo,
he headed for his tea at home,
tea along with his wife’s gossips,
probably her nth time blabbering.
At night when he comes back from toddy shop,
he is a man estranged,
estranged from his own clan,
glued to his nuclear family, he kicks at tumblers,
he kicks at his frustrations,
his wife screams, she screams out her empty thoughts.
The night sky, neither smiles nor shines,
stars and moon shies away to clouds;
the kacha and pakka roads,
they wind along the outskirts with not much to think;
it’s the way the wind blows here,
with hollow fury and dusty scent
and nowhere to climb,
it settles down with dust.
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