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Questions That Stay

by Baishampayan Seal

Sparrows have eaten up the cookie-pieces
That my daughter scattered
Across her mother’s grave.
No roses, no sunflowers, no peonies;
Flowers never were wifey Ada’s thing really.
Feeding the half-starved surely was.

Not sure if you’d listen to this:
I know you never wanted to lose us
The way we lost our greyhound.
I know stray dogs are God’s children, too.
But did you really believe
The Almighty isn’t
Blind enough
To heed your feeding them
The way you fed us;
Deaf enough
To hear the drivel we recited
For our dead pet’s peace, for our peace;
Dead enough
To save your family
From the scythe of death?

While tossing soil on Ada’s casket,
We nowhere found those strays.
They have disappeared like the strawberry pie
She once made, for hours, with careful details,
With love for them. Now, my daughter is
Breaking her sugar doves and scattering
All over her mother’s grave, once again.
I keep wondering how wide
The woman beneath would smile now
At this. First thought. The last one:
Will the sparrows come back again, or
Will different sparrows come?

Copyright © 2020 by Baishampayan Seal

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