For the Drifters


A poem by Prartho.

Indus Unconstrained by Kumari

They say the continents are still drifting,
nudged each year a little further into the blue.
And through the sand and waterways drift
the herds—goat tribes and ant colonies,
pods of whales and knots of toads.

For millennia dust has drifted in and out
of doorways, and in their seasons, pollen
and snow. It turns out even glass drifts.
The vertical panes that hold our world in place
are more like sheets of rain than walls,
their bottoms growing thicker down the years.

And so it seems, we are all leaning on water.
But some of us lean harder, deeper. This poem
is for you – the fallen, with limbs worn to silk.
For you light-footed ones, tramped on in the fray.
This poem is for all of you solitary singers
awash in your own song.

Sleep well tonight, my troubadours.
Let the boat of your regret unmoor
itself and drift away. The shimmer
of harbor lights will reappear
when that great dark ship floats out.

From Pratho’s first collection, Call from Paris (The Word Works, second edition 2014)

PrarthoPoem by Prartho –
Illustration: Indus Unconstrained, artwork by Kumari
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