WE ARE SHUTTING DOWN
The ides of March
Longings tend to run backwards
The day I had decided to speak my heart out to you
The skies decided to fall silent
Were made to fall silent…
The familiar roads became a distant memory.
I struggled to remember the turns and the road signs that made them familiar
That made you familiar
The world around me decided to shut down
The one inside of me slowly reaching that phase
It wasn’t only the year of the pandemic
It became a year of isolation
When the walls began closing in
Came too close for me to breathe
Breathing in with me- turning me inside out.
Until I became a wall.
We are shutting down
We will remain shut down
A brick begins to dislodge
Can you feel the crunch of the cement under your shoes?
She sits by the window.
Evening arrives first
They should be arriving by now.
She turns to check time
The ticks have managed to move the minute hand a bit further.
Patting an unruly strand of grey hair down
She adjusts her saree one last time.
The window now reflects her
The outside world becomes a blip
Why haven’t they turned up by now?
She checks her phone to make sure it is working.
Her neighbours have bought a brand new TV- a wall contraption
She trains her eyes on that TV to distract herself
She does not want to take a pill to calm down
Have to buy a new bottle tomorrow.
Breaking news! A flash on the TV
An announcement- NATION WIDE SHUT DOWN
The red letters stand out – blaring into her ears
The room falls dark
She puts the cake back in the fridge.
The lights extinguish the letters written on the cake- Happy Birthday!
Issue 94 (Nov-Dec 2020)