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Agha Shahid Ali




Notes Entries 100 Books

07:59, 6 Aug 2020
outside the window
are days full of my mother
my father’s gardens he calls
prints of Punjab

like the pages of a yellow book, my mother's nameless youth
was caged between book ends—
mother, father, daughter, mother

her mother’s phulkari
hand spun subterfuges to release,

a family heirloom

like a painting to complete,
it took many strokes to cover our days,
a languorous summer, fall, winter, summer
sometimes in between, like estranged cousins,
impish winds would come to play

a lover’s story
sweet sweet warbles, singers made to order
Pigeon fliers

even in two tight plaits
I felt free

a sickly gaze from the bedside
sometimes upholds the promises of an opulent life

up and down and between the shadows
taming a temperate sun’s impish play

what can a sickly gaze spare after all?
irreverent skies, or cheap ticket stubs to window romances? —as if
pastiches of romeos and juliets and romeos

even with my romantic hair
I am caged

chipped pieces of bargain
scattered all over the window sill.

My Notes