Our Voices The Orinam Blog

Poem: Absence of Walls

It could be arthritis
or the absence of walls
that makes this old couple
stretch legs on the sand
and chat away as I wonder
if that sweet slackness comes
with age or just like that.
Both the kid and
the puppy he walks
are in such excitement
I am now not sure
who is walking whom and
I would like to know
if this wide-eyed wonder comes
with age or just like that
Do they giggle
because we say they do
or because we say they do
they giggle, you never know.
Letting the waves reach
way above the ankles
with norms and gazes around
makes these girls giggle
in their small rebellion
while I barely notice mine.
Masala peanut seller boy
cuts chops dices
tomatoes cabbages onions
as worms of sweat
pause on his forehead
before tingling his steady eyes
in dhyana at work
that I have taken courses in
to elude better.
This looking at people
in moments of escape
from petty cloistered selves
and writing this so long
takes, I guess,
a petty cloistered self.

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