Poem | Arjun Rajendran


How now to describe that anguish when my father got off
the train at platforms to refill a water bottle;

because nobody then had yet learnt to sell water.
When everyone started buying it, I was older, unlike the time

my feet didn't reach the compartment floor. I sat
by the window thinking the whistle will sound any second now,

he’ll never make it, till he’d materialize beside coolies
or a ticket collector and grin at me after

stubbing his cigarette. Now that I travel alone everywhere,
the loss of that uncertainty is just another adult fact.

But I always carry a bottle inside me. I keep
refilling it with emotions from taps I often forget to close.

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