ushashi ghosh

January 12, 1970 - India
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And I Still Expect

As the plush car screeched to a stop at the signal
She raised her tired, reluctant head and looked up
through the misty window pane to see the dimly lit window
of a room-
The room high up there-
Does the person living there have expectations too?
Is she greeted by a pair of smiling eyes as she returns after a tough day?
Does she nestle within the cradled warmth of sheltered, loving arms at night?
Expectations- that throttle you, strip you of your dreams:
Yet, each breath is an expectation…for love, for happiness
for mere existence…
Her hurried mornings and time-tabled seconds -life- just a series of deadlines, discontent and disappointments…
Begging for a strip of sunshine at the corner of his lips,
A home, now a cold stack of neglected bricks.

Expectations, futile expectations-
Wringing her dry every minute;

She wondered about the woman up there- imagining her-
Enthroned in her happy domain- laughter, love, life…
Do expectations choke her too sometimes and drag her down
to bottomless oblivion?
She heard the screech of tyres on the damp, cold streets
from her stark, sterile room up there-
A sound so jarring yet carrying so much warmth;
Memories of throbbing days, hot coffee and laughter,
The weight of her sleeping child a blessing against her breast.
Expectations- yes, she had expectations-futile expectations-
Her life once a riot of colours that dimmed the winter flowers
Now but a hard, metallic bed and a series of spasmodic pains…
Her hands ravaged by tubes and needles
No longer free to hold her child to her breast.
Her lips too dry to kiss the tears off her beloved’s face.
Expectations- yes- to be rid of her frail, tortured skeleton
and become whole again…

She wondered about the person in that car-
Did she feel the raindrops on her flying arms? The warm caress of the afternoon sun?
Does she promise to be there forever- to love, laugh and hold?
Do expectations rejuvenate her and make her ‘live’ each minute a little more?
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