This, That and Nothing

I stand by the roadside
Waiting for something
Or perhaps nothing?
A man walks past,
Limping towards me
With a burning cigarette
In his left hand
I move aside in a jiffy
And notice a little boy
Pretending to be a puppy dog
“Wow wow”, he frolics
On the concrete pavement
As his mother turns to his father
“Which comic shop should we go to?”

It’s a cold rainy day today
I hear gunshots in my thoughts
One hundred and thirty two
Little angels somewhere
On the other side of the globe
Have been done to death
In cruel vengeance
By six young men
Seeking heaven

I turn my gaze over my shoulder
Two pretty women are talking
“Have a Merry Christmas!”
“Bye! See you soon”.

I look at the locomotives
Parked in front of me
A man from the other end
Smiles a gentle “Hi”
I am perturbed

The little boy is back
With a bag full of articles
“I want to go to another comic store”
I look at the cell phone in my hand
Messages from across the world:
We stand in grief with Peshawar

Women are shopping for the holidays
I see a pair of dogs
Outside a coffee shop
Sniffing past my legs and feet
And cuddling on to their owner
In warm affection

My hands are trembling
I look around for my car
Where am I going?
What was I waiting for?

         © Sadaf Munshi.

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