Walks: A Poem

By Brishti Roy

I didn’t have the time to bring my running shoes in
Before we were all quarantined.

I walk around in my house now. I climb down and walk
Twice around the bed I spilled my first bowl of milk in,
By the switch board; I have to save money,
Out and around the verandahs.
To the east, high up on the grille
Sits a deserted nest
Claimed every summer by the
Same cuckoo mother or no
How could I tell?
To the west, the sun seeps in
This is where I dry my hair after every shower
It takes me minutes.
Towards the end, in the corner after a turn,
Sits the ancient sofa,
broken,
Strays sneak in and sleep here at night
How could I interfere?
Right across, a new mirror shines
Above the old basin.
My room is close by, I don’t walk in.
It makes me think of people I tried to be.
At the far end, the bathroom, I stop.
Trying to avoid the dead person’s room on the way
Here the cat had killed the pigeon
Ma wiped the blood the next day.
The dead person does not scare me
The dying does.
Twenty six stairs lead me to the terrace: it was grey before Baba coloured it in blue
Grey again, with dust.
The sparrows drink from the overflowing tank
Cobwebs sprayed in transparent pearls.
Bats fly home in a sky-pink sky
I jump to touch the tightened clothesline
The slap of my slippers wakes the dog crying in his sleep,
Dreaming of walks.

I walk ahead to see the main road,
Empty but for a woman in hurry
Vanishing under the tail of her sari.

Brishti is an undergrad studying English Literature at Jadavpur University. She likes poetry and the people who attempt to define it.

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