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He Did Not Return

It was not a jubilee,
but I had come to pay my debt.

Stepping gingerly in your
father's study, you open the almirah.

No I am not afraid.
I have come to visit my father.

The hurt has not destroyed me completely.
Days were numbed like by vespa stings? with
burning, swelling and soreness.

I slide the clothes. In
deeper layer a plastic pack appears. on the
bed of dried rose petals,
sits a singed, brown vertebra-
collected after his funeral.

My talisman. I touch it.
Turn around-
don't look back
and walk away.
Satish written by

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