Thursday Poem

To Have My Sister Back

Deeba, did you know 
I went to your room yesterday 
looking for you?

The room was so dark 
I thought you were sleeping.
I tiptoed, 
whispered your name in a hanged man’s voice 
– Deeba – Deeba – Deeba.
But you did not reply.
I drew the curtains 
to catch your eyes in the light, 
only to be disappointed.

You were not there 
only everything else that was yours: 
saris in the alna 
lipstick, hair clips, hair brush 
on the dressing table, 
finger marks on the mirror,
shadowy, without intent, 
tablas on the almira 
tanpura and sitar leaning 
on the side of your bed.

It looked as though 
nothing visits your room 
but the pungent dust 
of the growing city 
that is trying to claim 
hold of your belongings.

An overpowering silence in the room, 
so overpowering in fact that 
I could hear your invisible hands 
still tapping the tablas you revered, 
so I picked up the tanpura 
and pulled its string 
to bring back 
a little melody
to the room 
that died with you.