If I were given the choice to do it again,
I’d walk the same paths, take the same shortcuts,
climb the same bends and reach the same destination.
Though they broke promises, and I did too.
Though they shouted my secrets on the rooftops,
and I, theirs too.
Though they smashed this scrimshawed vase
with its depictions of men lying on the ground
with spears through their chests, and I smashed
If I were given the chance to see tomorrow,
I won’t take it, because I like to hold on to
a semblance of freedom, like a man weeping
over tattered rags as if it’s torn, rich silk.
If given a chance to do it over again
I’d do it just the same,
the short walk across the old
dusty, rusted track, the fields enveloped in mist
like a hazy reverie,
that time I kissed her in the park,
oblivious to who’s looking
or who’s thinking what.
I’d relive the pain of yesterday,
the throb of today and the
scars of tomorrow
because life’s a gift,
though we’re trying forever to
find its solution. Maybe
there’s no solution or problem
but a walk by the placid lake,
the waves gently caressing your feet,
while dawn meets noon and noon meets dusk,
while the night envelopes and like
Enoch you’re suddenly taken away,
vanishing from the eyes who those who
knew you, never heard to the people
who’ll never get to know you, and
staying for a while in the hands
of those you hold dear now.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)