Those Sounds - Poem by Surjyajeevan Yumnam
In the dreaded silence of midnight,
I lie on my hard rolled mattress,
Gazing at the spider play with its web;
Caught in the maze of instinctive vigil,
The winged moth attempts to perch,
Upside down on the searing 100W bulb.
Hitting with its fluttering wings,
As if to break the slippery glass surface,
To liberate the imprisoned flame within.
I know not what the moth covets,
It is the future ahead that I dream of,
About life and its labyrinth contours.
My uninterrupted thoughts ephemeral,
Interrupted by the gusty sound
Of an approaching wheeler,
That stopped not at a destination.
No sound of haunting boots followed,
Over the dark and narrow alleys,
No sound of baying dogs,
Calling their owners for attention,
No incessant clanging of lampposts,
Vigilant screams for concerned mothers,
No wailing by the lamenting mothers,
No sound of cannon balls roaring,
All thoughts drowned with the swish,
Leaving the deep bone shivering,
By the sound, those sounds.
In the numbed mind of mine,
I have an unfathomable fear,
That triggers unanswerable questions?
To be answered by this mortal frame,
What if I heard those sounds?
Those stamping and thumping of boots,
The growl of the domesticated dogs,
The cries of mothers and other perturbing sounds,
I thank the unseen and the mighty one,
For not making these sounds true to me tonight.
Despite this, melancholy descends on me,
Why am I feeling and thinking this way?
Why the nickel-and-dime passing of the wheeler,
Has created an insurmountable fear in me?
Was this fear ordained before my birth
Or was those sounds dumped over me?
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