Poetry by Rumjhum Biswas, Photo by Marisa Dorna-Livet

On Dusk in the City

This is the day’s hour of uncertainties

Daylight dallies with departure and dusk dithers

Shilly-shallies with light and shade

There is no bovine march here. No

Tinkle of bells, soft hoof thud

On yielding mud, the plop of moist pat

On red dust-dazed roads. No

Fragrance of air and earth, wood-smoked

Hearth. None of these. The city

Has its own smells, its own sounds

That plow

Great runnels of smog right up to the cosmos

A tired sun hovers like a butler

Above an inflamed lip of sky.


This too is my hour of uncertainties:

Will he be late for dinner? Should we

Watch channel 2 instead of 4?

Can I get away with milk and bread

For the child, just for tonight?

Does green become me more

Than blue?


Once there was a time, long, long ago

When I would watch

The birds

At this very hour. Watch them return

To their nests in great clamors of unrest

But that was a very long time ago…

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