Death Is Not A Lonely Visitor

Death is not an event.
It’s not a one time end to constant breathing
or a thing that comes and then slowly leaves.

My grandfather stands at one end of the garden.
The grass around him slowly bends in sadness, falling at his feet.
He was always the one who cared for it,
even on court days and evenings with clients lined outside.
Which is not to say that my grandmother didn’t.
Which is not to say that the flowers did not tear up on seeing her ashes.

My grandfather stands at one end of the garden.
The children have crowded around,
they cannot find strength to keep themselves from falling.
The friends have parked their cars inside, and
The cousins have flown in, navigating their way home

The pandit begins reading out the prayers,
There is a mutual understanding of no more sound than this.
A young man sitting next to him
maybe his son, maybe the only next boy in the family.
will slowly understand what all of this means.

Meanwhile my grandfather melts in his chair,
Next to a portrait of my grandmother,
His eyes swollen,
Above wrinkles,
Above the time that often lied to him
As much as it told him the truth.
He does not want to understand
what all of this means.

Here’s a new world created for him just like that,
The sun trickling down the evening sky,
collecting flowers today,
And the birds sitting silently on their legs,
learning the language that is most common today.

The summer will slowly come
to remind him of her hands,
How easily they melted into his
like bodies in mirrors.
And the winter will remind him of
homes they built and found in each other.

I could not tell spring from autumn
as a kid but I am learning to see,
what blooming and shedding can do to a life.

We will pack our bags,
and leave the city tomorrow,
We will talk, my grandfather and I

And weeks later,
like always,
he will call me again,
and like always,
he will ask me if I’m happy,

I will not have the strength to ask him back.

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