by Bibhu Padhi (April 2014)
You died at the end of
winter, earlier this year,
and I didn’t even know.
It is the year’s end:
the end of November.
The cold in Dhenkanal
has my tendons and ligaments
imprisoned in pain..
When you gave me the shawl
four years ago, I thought
it was a gift like any other.
But you knew what it meant to you.
I couldn’t even thank you,
time being what it is
and wouldn’t let me
look back or praise
what was good and precious.
Dreams that we are, we forget
to remember the dreams of others.
But this evening, I wrap the shawl
around these frail shoulders
and watch The Last Samurai.
Stories of win and loss, death
and birth, are here and elsewhere.
Keep us warm, as if it were always
early March, teach us to be strong, like
the sun, fresh like the love we must
donate to all those who need us
in the dreams of our own absence.
Bibhu Padhi's eighth book of poems, Magic Ritual, was published earlier this year. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, the most recent being THE HARPERCOLLINS BOOK OF ENGLISH POETRY (2012). . He lives in Bhubaneswar, India.
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