A Winter Night

Inside my 10/12 feet mudroom

Four things vie for space─

My poplar body, mother’s spinning wheel,

Heirloom from her disappeared brother,

Old books bartered out of plastic shoes,

Blank posters pilfered from deodar poles

And a ragged mattress, an old quilt rolled

Borrowed from grandpa’s deathbed;

As the night stretches its big black arms

Like an eagle perching atop a chinar tree;

I trust my body to its vast darkness

Unfolding the mattress, over it quilt cold.

My both eyes close, only half scene follows─

The cosmic force wakes up angry in haste

Inside the room of a yawning universe

And falls down as snow on our cowshed’s

Shaky rooftop; ‘I shall break icicles’, I smile

Rubbing my eyes; the wheel stares at me

Like a dying day slipping into darkness

While two lines from an opened book read─

“Memory hangs like a wart on my face

It is visible, there cannot be an escape!”

©Ashaq Hussain Parray