Stranger In The House

Bibhu Padhi

Someone is watching us, always,
from a place which the sun
never touches nor ever will,
inside this house. Words are
sometimes dimly heard
or just remembered from
a distant year, when I was small—
modest words, easy to understand,
but which I no longer use—
they have their times.

Sometimes, during hot and humid
afternoons, when nothing seems
to move, there are sounds
which seem familiar—
an infant’s tender mouth
sucking a careful breast, small feet
shuffling across a dark room
on the upper floor.

I see the dust of my father’s years
rise from that corner where
my little son plays with toys
and slow time. Whose lean fingers
run although his casual hair
so affectionately? Is someone,
homeless and distant through
the years, watching him too?