It was dusk outside; inside the long hall
Dinner was set; candles lit.
Away, from the end of the corridor
Twilight fell softly across the floor.
At the other end, a door opened
To a patch of sky and a green-capped tree.
In the hall, alone at the table, I sat
Staring at the food I really didn’t see.
I didn’t hear him first; maybe I sensed –
What was he after, inside a house?
Silently he had entered from the garden
Perhaps a gust of wind swept him in.
A little sparrow, fluttering his wings,
He skitters, flies up and down, zigzag.
He almost hit the ceiling, and he didn’t -
He tried to escape but the windows were closed.
I watch him, and in him I see me.
He comes up and passes over my head.
I wince, a panic rises in me
As he flies nearer to the fan.
I am tense; fear grips, I clench my fists.
Then I hear him, he chirps once –
Maybe I spoke to him, silent;
Maybe knowing is enough, no words;
Maybe all it needs are two hearts,
To let it be known that we love.
At the other end, sky had become bright
And the tree now glowed golden.
Now chirping louder, the sparrow shot
Swiftly out through the door.
Into the winter sky
Whence he came;
I muse on my life –
Whence I came
Where would I go?
Outside, a cuckoo calls.
********* Balachandran, Trivandrum, 26.06.2009