I miss mornings we, for years, had together –
Drinking tea to our similar settled taste
Of Earl Grey, reclining in the cane chairs,
When, at times, Arlene would lay to waste
Our calm quiet with her constant purring.
You’d pour her milk in her melamine bowl,
Chide me for acquiescing to Ritu’s pet-whims;
Stopping at, “Well, better this cat than that foal!”
Barefoot we would walk on the slippery grass,
Talk about daily things with vacuity,
See the sun in the west change colour from
A bright crimson to yellow, gradually.
You would point to the Bougainvillea,
Make a note of getting the vines pruned fine,
And on hearing the alarm you’d rush to the kitchen
Leaving me with the day’s printed headlines.
Mornings are tough now. The walk is difficult -
My rheumatoid has made me somewhat weak.
Arlene is dead. So are Figaro and Felix,
And Ritu’s calls come in only twice a week.
A quiet descends like fog over the garden,
Hiding in its fold the misshapen flowers
Scrambling these days over the wall, beyond
The view afforded by these early hours.
Your old cane chair must have been given out.
Otherwise, its absence I cannot explain.
Around me, facades are collapsing
But mourning, like most of life, is in vain.
What little is left I reflect upon –
Memories. Pills. Bifocals for the news.
But in this despicable solitude,
I remember you. I remember you.