The Song of Despair

Mrigesh Rajan Preom

I first saw it in my father’s hand
It sparkled with life and provided the same
Sparkle for my father
As he was laughing with vigour and could barely stand;

I asked him about the mystery that he held
He brought me close
Touched my ear with his nose
“It's a magical bird” he said, “My thirst and sanity it quelled
When it doubt just take a sip, Consider this a golden tip”;

He chuckled as if he cracked a great joke
But little did he realise my curiosity he did poke
The bird rested safely in his arm
Though it sang to me, with its alluring charm

Mother never liked the bird
Her and father would constantly fight
Twas a gruesome sight
I never took my eyes off my spoon in my curd
“Father please tell the bird to go away”, I cried
He would just look at me, with a spirit that has long died

Older I was, and far more restless
Father was consumed by the song, He grew distant and aimless
Or perhaps he was like that all along
I was obsessed with the bird, I wanted it
I needed it to understand my father’s fascination
It’s allure strengthened my determination

I finally had it when my youth had begun
The elixir that I craved for, cried for
It gave me courage, it gave me wings
It absolved me of my guilt over my sins
The bird and I were finally one;

My father had lost my respect, and had only my abhor
And suddenly one day, he was no more
Passed away in peace into the silent night
Left behind a family in quite a plight
The bird sang once more, a melody painfully bright
Mother made me promise , To keep my distance from the bird
After all its song was responsible for my father’s untimely demise
The well of grief and guilt in me she stirred

Years did pass, I am a made man now
Success and kindness in my life, Fate did endow
Days went by without much strife
But all it took was one bad day, Threw my whole life into disarray

With a particularly hard day at the office, I walked along the avenue
There I saw it again, the magical bird
Sparkling with its own mesmerising light
I heard its song again, as if it never left my side
Father’s voice whispered into my ear
“Remember my golden tip? All you need is a sip”
My resolve broke and I sang along once again

My wife did not understand;
I am sorry my love, the bird has been by my side
It's a part of my pathetic hide
For far longer than you have been
I pray my daughter never understands;
“Daddy please stop making me sad”, she says
I am so sorry my darling
Your words fall onto deaf ears, the song is all I hear
You may yell, beg or plead
The song is all I hear, it's so loud
I can't even feel my heartbeat.

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