A Walk, Immemorial - Poem by Sumallya Mukhopadhyay
Take a few strides, pass the crowd, flanked
By aged-familiar houses, faces known
To the patient Church -the cross still standing;
Where daily prayers meet to discuss!
People believing still, like the barber
And his rusted scissors, tuning the lane
With a music similar to the deep contours
Of the maid's face, with the same band
Ties her hair, and back to work she goes;
To meet the timely yawn of household mistress-
Alone, sitting by the veranda, watches cycles and cycles
Of exuberant youths, on their way back from school.
Walk a little to face the same fragrance of flowers,
Wrapped in plastics same, the man with his dusted tee,
Red teeth and unshaved face, makes business.
For the Church bells strike. It's time for prayers.
Old sticks walk, pass the field, talking slowly to themselves,
Ignored by the group running errands with a ball.
Soon to surface are shouts- glances cast.
Soon leaves everyone for the lane that leads to the Ganges.
Smiling faces are to be seen just there. Couples seated in corners.
Talking. Laughing. Amid the cigarette stubs, popcorn plastic,
Wrappers, pass the fading lights.
Walk a little.
And just think of the eyes that have matured.
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