I spoke to the old woman who stands clothed
in black and white behind the counter, this
noon. Deep in our talk, I asked her, ‘Do you
regret a choice made? Have you truly loathed
a circumstance – one that didn’t give you bliss?
‘My young friend,’ she said, ‘I can’t make brand new
the life I’ve forged, and even if I could
I’d forcefully say no, because age brings
truth and what’s truer than the deepest hue –
that says that I’ve stood and lived as I should.
I rise each morning thankful; the bird sings,
and that’s the greatest gift my age begets –
a gratefulness without darts or regrets.’
‘And what if you could see beyond, will you
choose suitably and live life fuller, strong?’
I asked, but she looked with worn, jaded eyes
and said, ‘The future is, and just stays true –
It isn’t mine to edit, or right, wrong.
I’ll live this moment and the next, ‘till ice
or fire I am, and ashes I become.
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)