Nobody comes to our home

Poet: Abrar Ahmad

 

Eyes glued to the window, turn away,

Turn away and then return.

It’s dark in the kitchen,

Not a single dish rattles anywhere,

The door remains open,

Leaves fallen upon the seats reveal

Nobody comes to our home.

Only yesterday a fire would blaze,

Faces would glow from the mist of a steaming kettle,

Wobbling bursts of laughter would crash into the walls and ricochet upon us.

Sometimes, drunk on the headiness of the dregs of dreams,

We would traverse the alleys of day.

Sometimes, our eyes bloodshot with emptiness,

We would gaze upon this world’s face.

Where did they disappear,

Those heart-stricken companions, who would tap a matchbox and sing songs to its beat.

Who knows from which directions, laughing and singing, they would spring into presence

Bringing tunes of sorrow sometimes,

With the deep songfulness of sorrow.

Where are they headed, on their journey of endless separation

Where, in the sickly clench of slumber, do they lie sleeping

Is it age or illness?

Is it ease or arduousness?

We stare at doors and walls,

And somewhere in the crumbling plaster and in damp bricks,

We ourselves are dissolving.

Be it the day of Eid, a day of rest, or a working day,

Nobody comes to our home.

There’s a curse, perhaps,

Which takes its panting darknesses from the walls, and remains bound to your feet like an ill-omened thrill,

Does not let you even lift yourself from the bed.

Who knows what has happened,

Bustling gatherings won’t let you come, or has desolation laid seige

Such that a thick haze has engulfed the surround.

Is it the calamity of wealth, or the struggles of life,

Or is it a blow from the flood of passing years.

Nobody comes to anyone’s home,

Nobody comes to our home.

 

Translated by Zahra Sabri