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Summer, Past and Present

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ANU KUMAR

That summer, you told me stories

Inside a makeshift palace we made ourselves

Damp sheets arranged over your old wooden bed

The ‘loo' picked up dust, leaves, every street sound

And scattered the noise on the window

like a huge king's army on the move

In your stories, princesses braved every storm

Clouds were strange hoofed creatures in a hot sky

And summer left behind dry golden leaves in the balcony

This summer, the buzz of the air conditioner

Sleeps over everything, even your snores

For you don't listen to my stories like I did yours

I chase errant flies, fan you in the time

the generator comes on in welcome relief

Outside, another dry yellow summer stretches

drawn curtains have turned its roar into a mere hum,

we grew up every passing year, summer stayed the same

and left behind dry golden leaves in the balcony

Anu Kumar is a poet and writer, based in Delhi.


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