Friday Poem

Oral History

Something was to happen in the seventies but it did not happen.
Strange winds began to blow in the eighties.
And in the nineties what was not to happen, happened.

And so did an entire century take leave
before the century had ended.

All this is now an object of study.

And since we happen to be some of the representative specimens
of the twentieth century,
they are arriving on the scene
– for the Oral History Project of the Galaxy Channel –
with questionnaire and microphone,
these researchers of the Generation 21st
who can barely figure out the alphabet
of either the twenty first or the century.

What will they be able to ask?
What shall we be able to explain to them?

Except that I should get myself a good clean shave
and sit erect in the chair.
Except that my wife too should comb her hair
for the occasion.

by Asad Zaidi
from Poem Hunter