A Crossroad Day

17 Jan

a crossroad day
arrives with a soliloquy of

sweat drenches the bed
an overhead fan is moving
very slowly (flies are hopping a ride)
i watch it be useless
it hums hypnotic

tears run sideways to the ears
i smell bad to myself
nose itches filled with disgusting
black boogers from sooty smog
a cacophony day and night
from please-honk-okay vehicles
blaring laaree gari & motor-ricks
traveling some 40-odd kilometers
from the airport to Ramat Hotel
clingy sounds and smells
follow into the room
and onto the bed

jet-lag & bleary-eyed
lying in bed and watching a fan
in Mumbai near Grant Rd train station
there to speak at a college
but feeling useless and empty
beat-up from family issues
numb from paddle-wheel
self-pity throat-sobs convulse
but hear an almost audible voice and
know it from some distant long-ago life
and realize a lost child is speaking up
to prevent self-destructing
by a reality-check

there is only one
you & i
must live with
on this earth
here and now
and it is me
and i
so why should you shame
your undivorceable life partner?
you are your own traveling companion
from this moment to your last breath
and possibly beyond
so why waste the journey
trying to change what you cannot?
side with anyone against yourself
no more from now until my last breath
vow to honor, respect, and love
me, myself, and i
from this now to every other
as the very best way
to honor my source

the other dress-up self scoffs
arguing chanting
its familiar diatribe began
it is all gone
you loser
repeat gone
you flunky
pronounce it & say it
certify yourself a failure
wrong to the root

hearing the familiar mantra
then noticing
a legion demon-voice
mimicking mine in a thousand others
that crossroad day
the next moment budded like a spring day
from hearing my forever-young child
its word is here now
and always nearer than my breath

knowing now with fresh self-respecting eyes
a father
no matter how I try to hold them close
crying pushing
and shoving is futile
for these cannot be anything else
then what they already are
non-negotiable facts

awake now
must use the bathroom
almost would rather piddle the bed
resisting the strange fishy commode
but finally
venture to tinkle in its hole
do not know how long i lay in that putrid bed
lost track of time — it may have been days
I feel a new adventure beginning
living with myself on my terms
with my child at one with source
from now on determined
to cultivate the experience
of being
my own best friend

from that crossroad day
the child wants to soar through
former shadows up and out
making them into new playthings
for everything is a chance to allow
the constant romance
it can seem like a long way off
to reach a crossroad day
the junction can be found
where the pain is seen as only pain
and nothing more
not someone or your self

Never allow yourself
to be taken hostage
by the story of
another but also
release everyone
you may be
holding captive
to yours

ignore the parroting mimic
those false dress-up selves
who would steal your voice
and your very life
then you will discover
your child is always waiting
to come out
to play

the giggle of a child resurfaced
lying on a wet stinky bed near a train station
on a crossroad day

1 Comment

Posted by on January 17, 2021 in About Me, Essays, Memoir, Poetry


One response to “A Crossroad Day

  1. brianhodgkinson

    January 18, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Writing this was a struggle but worth it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: