Please Listen

Please Listen

Last updated on: February 28, 2018 at 8:32 am IST


I didn’t see you in your childhood,
But I thought it must be like how I spent mine,
Chasing sparrows, sometimes throwing grains at them
Stupid birds, still would eat the grains
Thrown by a misbehaved child and avoid any complain.
You must have also attached a string with two cans
And tried to hear voices through your telephone and smiled.

I didn’t ask you about your childhood and you laughed allthe time.
And for two years you said nothing about it at all,
Other than that you had a goldfish named Paper
That loved you and you loved it.
Paper, I thought was rather a strange name to give,
And being it swimming in a pool of water always
Did not make much sense.

Last winter, you fell on me while I tried to fall asleep
And got inside the blanket, singing a song I never heard before.
It wasn’t a Christmas song; your feet were as cold as ice.
‘Where have you been?’ I asked you, your palms were coldtoo.
‘I am dying, darling,’ you laughed, ‘hide me in your embarrassment.’
I laughed back, for you were the most alive woman I ever met,
I couldn’t understand half of the things you would say.

You started talking about your childhood finally,
But it started with Paper’s death, and I needed to sleep,
Even with your cold hands stuck against my cheek,
Despite that you wanted me to listen to your stories.
I fell asleep while hearing your faint and disappearing voice
You were saying that you were afraid of dying,
I couldn’t remember anything more of your talks.

I was full of guilt and shame in the morning,
But the moment I looked at you, you just smiled.
You could forgive easily, that was the best thing about you.
‘I had a troubled childhood, you see,’ you laughed.
God, you thought I was awake, and I was afraid to tell thetruth.
You walked towards the window and kept gazing at the hills,
While I saved my fear and saved the truth for another day.

You didn’t come back that evening, as the fog covered thehills
And I searched you all night in every corner we went in twoyears.
The police came next morning, wanting me to see
If the body they found on the riverside was you.
It was you, beautiful and white.
A little girl said she saw you drowning yourself under themoon,
I never could understand what were you thinking.

I never could understand half of the things you would do.
I keep hearing your voice while I try to fall asleep,
Your story that start with Paper’s death and end with your fear of dying,
But I could never hear the story of your childhood,
I think I could have saved you, I could have known you,
But there is nothing worse than being too late.

– Ron’e Dutta
(Connect with Ron’e’s facebook page Rhymes of Ron’e to read more of his works)