A short poem in a book of verses my father wrote…

There is a poem in the book of verses my father wrote for his mother as she lay dying a thousand kilometers away from him in the cancer ward of an hospital plagued not with the disease but the longing for sleep and some rest at the finale of a life that didn’t say a lot. It reeks of cowardice and pain like all short poems and is truly unlike my father. It may probably be the only true thing that I know about him. While crying over the tragedies that sit within their reach, men often have power over their fates. But it’s stupid to assume that they want their tragedies to disappear. Some men need their mothers, their wives, their children to perish, for a chance to lead a more stoic, more noble existence. In some sense then my father’s poem is as fragile as the love he has for his dying mother…

Room 242

Outside room 242, at 12.30 pm,

a gloomy visitor has already waited

more than an hour, or two at most,

for my mother’s arrival,

post her weekly radiotherapy. He is

more punctual in his waiting than I,

in the love I will feign for my mother

once she dies in the cancer ward cared

for by the orderlies who will change

or throw away the sheets she would

die in without at least once breaking

down in them, crying over her frailty

and mine. All this will happen, has already

happened and is happening as I write

a brief eulogy to win the approval

of a people that venerate mothers and

their solitary, untimely demises.

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