By Purba Saha
The sound of the wind chimes
Echoed like a spoon banging onto an empty bowl.
The zephyr of the winter morning brushed
Through my greying hair and whispering in my ears,
I walked down the alley,
To the dilapidated church,
Almost hidden in overgrowth and dead foliage.
As soon as I entered it, i was hit,
Hit by the familiar stench of old walls,
Of old books, of old memories.
Memories crushed like a rose
In between the thick pages of a fading life.
I walked up the altar,
Looked up at you, dear Lord.
Had my eyes almost closed,
My lips barely parted by a whisker
To utter a prayer,
That i heard those familiar footsteps,
Thumping and landing in a thud
Like bare rocks rubbed against the naked earth.
Those footsteps were ascending but,
But suddenly it vanished.
Vanished into the thin cosmos,
As soon as it had originated,
As soon as the memory was coalescing.
I looked back, like always,
An old man, kneeling down,
His expression evinced that he was imploring.
He looked up, gave me a crooked smile,
That crooked smile, so familar.
If you look up close at his visage,
It was a canvas itself.
With every fold portrayed the stroke of life,
Hidding years of experience, downfall,
Success, Love, laughter under them.
There was a pregnant pause,
Like the silence before an unwelcoming storm.
Only difference that it was not before but after.
The chiming of the wind chime plunged into this silence.
I looked back at you, dear Lord,
Whispered an impromptu prayer,
Hurried down the alley.
But while crossing the man,
It seemed that our fates had been crossing, again.
I couldn't ignore the emanating uncanny familiarity.
But as soon as the door creaked open in front of me,
I heard him say "Wait".
I turned my face to see,
See him crumbling down like sand,
I gasped, i wanted run as fast as my legs could take
But i was transfixed, i was rooted.
As i saw his body shred into bits and pieces,
On the spot where he stood was lying a white rose.
I took tentative, shaking steps towards it,
Afraid of what lays ahead.
I bent and picked the rose which had drops of blood
Staining the pale white satin like petals.
Of yore I'd been handed the bloodied mass
Of my husband with the same white rose tucked inside his tuxedo.
Like in his last few moments of his life he asked me to wait,
Wait for him to hand me the rose,
It was a long wait,
I rowed on the river of time
Stopped at so many banks,
That when every year on his death anniversary he gave me
The same white, blood stained rose,
It felt so new, so real
Like a foetus kicking inside a womb.
He came in different, antediluvian ways all these years,
That all i could so was contemplate with anticipation.
And every time he asked me to wait,
I wait, wait and wait.
And every time he came,
I fell in love again, again and again.