a poem by Aparna Karmakar, India

Remember me, O Grandpa,
It's half a decade since we last met.
The red rose, lastly I had placed on your corpse has withered long ago,
And still I remember your sweeter body smell.
They used to say I was the gem of your eyes,
And now you dwell as diamonds in my peers,
Sparkling like dew, as teardrops.
I remember that day, a Thursday it was,
When your soul escaped from the wide vent of your mouth,
And the fairy of death, holding your arm tight guided you to paradise.
Endless is that hour and timeless is that day,
For I slept and saw no dream,
Only darkness lit in every fragment,
I felt fear flowing through my veins.

I have heard of the day when I was born,
Aloud some cried, "See, it's a daughter again".
Unwelcomed I laid in my mother's arms,
You smiled and said "She is God's gift, I accept".
I grew up in your lap, with my tiny head on your heart.
I learned to speak, play, write and think,
And soon I did misfit your lap.
Moments rolled on,
Your hair turned silver-white,
And your nimble legs had to be held on a stick.
Your bed for the last days was then set,
Your movement was stopped,
Your breath was nailed on pills.
That day quietly arrived,
But you waited for me,
Running from school I came,
Placed my hand on your chest,
And minutes later I felt, your soft breath cease.

Years have flown by,
I have grown up,
All my teeth are lost and strongly replaced.
Unsupported I walk now,
Unbroken by storms and winds of life,
I have learned to face them all.
You still dwell amidst us,
Sweetly remembered in our hearts and prayers.
Your mute stick stands alone,
Leaning itself on the wall.
Your spectacles awaits your eyes,
Unknown to the fact,
That they were burnt in the hearth.

Moments never died,
I have cherished them evermore.
For roots frozen at the mercy of season,
Breathes with the fire burning inside.
Leaves wither, still flower blooms
When nurtured with memories forever.
Long gone but never forgotten are faces,
For in eternity they live,
And the way to eternity never ends.

I have seen you with that overgrown hair and unshaved beard,
Laughing with friends, I guess some old playmates'.
O Grandpa, like them
I wish to encounter your presence
Someday again,
When the blinds of my life,
In the theatre of the world, untie.
Still then Remember me,
Like the red rose, unwithered,
I had placed on your corpse.

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