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I count my steps.
It’s been a long time,
When I look back,
it’s been over a year and a half.
The days are like the pearls on my mother’s necklace.
The one she wore when she dressed up to go out for a special dinner.
Or like the sari she draped around her
with so much ease.
With no mirror or pins to hold it up.
The pleats not measured,
but gathered, held together,
perfect, tucked in.
Six long yards of unstitched fabric
made so elegant.
I smell her perfume in the air.
It’s time for my walk,
I click my front door shut.
The plants outside my door show off their green.
I notice my brass nameplate needs polishing.
I climb the stairs,
and run my hands over the freshly varnished wooden bannisters.
The ground I reach now is a cement terrace,
the floor smudged with just finished rain.
It is inky grey, black and white,
like a typewriter gone askew,
spilling out feelings that it cannot word.
The paper on its roller, no longer there.
Its patterns merge carelessly,
like pieces of contemporary art,
or a soaked old photograph.
I will check my phone later
to see how many steps I have walked.
The music on my headphones seems stale.
The playlist played over and over.
I turn it off.
I turn on a podcast on mindfulness instead.
I look above, and I see a monsoon sunset.
Never have I paid attention to the skies
the way I do now.
Purples and indigoes and pinks, suspended,
like the colours of our winter petunias.
Almost artificial, like a gaudy travel brochure,
that lures you to tropical beaches.
I feel the south wind
as it gathers its momentum on the river.
The sacred Ganges.
It will merge with the sea shortly.
My hair is windblown.
My long shirt raises itself against the breeze.
I lower it, even though there is no one here.
I watch from a distance,
and there’s another walker on a terrace.
Under the same sky.
I stay awhile,
I see the moon.
I know that it’s past its fullness tonight,
and that is okay.
I don’t need to leave.
I don’t need to hear this podcast.
I don’t need to count my steps,
My fullness is here.
In this moment.
The whole world in it.
I fold my hands instinctively,
as though to say please, or thank you,
I don’t know which.
to a god here or there,
I don’t know where.
The moon smiles; it gets shadowed with a cloud.
I hear a distant rumble in the skies,
a flash of lightning streaks.
I know it’s going to pour.
So I return home.