Dina Nath Nadim

Srinagar, Kashmir / India
Dina Nath Nadim
Srinagar, Kashmir / India

A Coat For Rain

Rating: 2.8
I WALKED into that room.
I took the raincoat off, set it hanging

On a nail; I spun around
Cold, to consider at length and well

Myself, it seemed, hanging there
On a nail—

These are the same
Shoulders, these are my arms

Disjected, I have known this
Incoherence of buttons

Clinging—Unreasonable, unyielding thread!—
This way and that to all too familiar holes

—Thus, duly inspected, I
Took to the door, I checked myself

Out, out from this rack
Of cloth, this institution, this store.

Then there were two
Strangers, yes they were both

Strangers, the two of them something
Odd, and surpassing eager—

“Is there anything his he left behind
Anything to survive, something used

Something old, something he wore
To cover his head, something scribbled

Or green, something fresh, a poem
He did not live to publish? He had on a coat

At the end,
For rain.”

“Yes he did,
There is a room above
Where it hung
on a nail.
We none of us could
Bring ourselves
To look
Till the day we tried it on
Ourselves,
Till it fit
And we let it lie after, left it well enough
Alone
It’s been a few days since
We let
The rag-picker have it
For who
Knows how much.
What’s it to you?”

“It is wanted, naturally,
By the museum of letters—
Won’t you say who has it
Or if there is a mark
To certify it?”

“And how will you get your hands on it?
Will you fish for it
On the mountain
Of rags? Listen,
Friend,
There is something,
Stitched into the lining,
A label its very own:
SHEIKH ALLAH,
TAILOR-MASTER”
Friday, July 13, 2012
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