Smile in His Sleep

A bend around the tiny little clutch
Sleep, hands across above his head.
I bent over to cover him with a sheet
He pushed it aside with mumbling unclear
A big broad fulfilling smile his lips convey
What could it be for ?
What dreams and worlds you are in ?

No son, I don’t wake you up to see...
No world or dream for us
Sans any admonishing psalm, a sweatless brow
Sans fences and frontiers
Happy you fly in the realms and skies
With no care for towers nor the runway
No wings that clip over time

For my part-
the only thing I can do
Is not to wake you up
For any food or fruit-nor milk
Nor to me and the likes of me.

The poem first published in Subtle Tea.


I come to my head office after thirty years –
taking over as CEO –

Pattabhi is still there in the
executive mess
serving coffee and lunch
for all above GM
in the penthouse

He was there when I joined as a trainee,
saw him when the then CEO
gave us all trainees
a luncheon speech
exhorting us to work and work

He never stepped out of the penthouse
except to take the lift
going home

His manners still the same
and continue
to somehow remind you
of the club-house employees
serving the British
in the colonial days

Impeccable well starched dress
well paced walk
firm greetings
a smile on his moustache
solicitude when he bends to listen

I have never heard
anyone complaining
of his carrying tales
overhearing the bosses
at the lunch tables

He should have never
once violated
the sacred silence
of the corporate governance

Never breathed a word
that I am his daughter
though with a Christian name
on account of my conversion
on marriage.

Published in - YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

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