I COULD NOT LINGER ON PLATFORM # 1

a poem by Rajnish Mishra, India

I am no natural poet.
No sir!
Poetry comes very rarely,
Infrequently, to me.
It had been knocking
The last few days
Faintly.
I did not open the doors
(Metaphorical), of mind.

I'm a busy man,
You see.
How can a professional
Adult Indian male
Be so weak as to stop running
His private-public rat race
And take time out
For a thing so insignificant
As licking his wound
That rankles with pain of (good) old days?

I could not linger on the platform that night.
I had a train to catch,
3 bags to place,
With a status of RAC.
Delayed heartache.
The prognosis I prophetically knew.
It was true.

Home is not where the heart is;
Home is where the purse can be filled.
And the belly.
Heart and all it can do,
Is nothing -
When compared to
What stomach does when aroused.

Therefore, I have travelled 798 kilometers
And come
To the city where I work
From the only city where I ever lived
From the city I loved
(And hated, and tried to flee from
But that's another story.
I was a better/worse man/boy then).

So, I could not stay,
While coming or going,
On platform # 1.
12 hours and so much to do.
You see
I could not even meet you
And you and you.

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