Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 7, 1990 p. 46.


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WHEN THE ENTIRE DAY GOES BY

When the entire day's spent

lying in bed

or else smoothing the wrinkled sheets

one asks, amazed:

how did the day go by?

Merely yawning,

legs stretched out,

a cigarette loose between limp fingers,

blowing rings of smoke

Or wondering between very important chores

—including wiping one's ass—

"What next?"-

the wheels in the brain whirring:

do that, do this, now do that again

Or in utterly useless talk with neighbors

who happen by: "What did he charge for meat today?"

"My, she's got hips, hasn't she?"

Or if not that then in wondering:

"How much time is left now? How should my life move— with those who are moving on or with those who stopped?" I shiver;

like leavened dough

a thought rises: the chores are done

But the film of reality and dream

flickers on inside my head,

and sounds of memories, tears and laughter

linger

A thought goes tumbling by,

like a bubble,

joining night with day,

joining the moist moment that pollutes

with the dry hour of oblivious sleep

Then come a numbness and persistent yawns;

time flies again

Smoothing the wrinkled sheets,

one falls asleep

Annual of Urdu Studies, #7 45


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