Sunday 15 August 2021

Sharmila Mitra, Poetry 2021 Magazine


When the bones sing,
What I feel is a niggling
Pain in my left hip, friend!
It's as if it's a message I can't 'unsend!'

Enough rhyming, friend,
That's quite enough for me!

So I was saying...
When the bones sing,
There is a pain most certainly
That refuses to go away.
All the work that needs
To get done against time,
With two coffee breaks, that's all,
Gets done; oh gets done,
All right, because, that's The Cause
This heart still beats in a regular rhythm,
Or else the burden of time
Would have drained the sap
Long ago...
The time ticks on and a clock chimes
Every bloodthirsty hour,
Every hour pronounced as GONE...
Gone with the passing moments.

Growing old is nice, friend;
I have absolutely no complaint!
It's nice to be able to speak my mind,
Even though it often rattles
People who do not expect me
To be such a darn reactionary!
Ha ha! It's good fun when you give a damn!
I like not my supple body sagging,
But I love the freedom: I'm not bragging!
Ha ha ha! It has its scary moments,
Like when I fell and hit my head hard,
Losing the world for a few minutes.
But on the whole, it's nice.
You don't care what you wear
To the grocer's or the supermarket!
Walking like a stuck-up camel,
Missing most passers by,
Because of my upturned eye,
Keeping distance is my target!

Growing old puts things in perspective;
You learn how mortal you are, how defective...
When all the work is done
And in the evening I get ready to rest,
I hum a little unheard of tune,
Off key, and still unfazed I croon!
Then I think: how does the mirror judge me?
Let me see, let me see!!
The mirror shows me the crows' feet
The mirror shows me the fine lines
The mirror shows me the greying hair,
And tells me:
Well, you are a lucky one;
You have lost much, but gained some!
Wink! The cheeky mirror winks!
I can't help winking right back!
Ha ha ha ha! I still love my mischief!
I'm like hard old cheese; I'll keep!

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