( A Poem in Remembrance)
Bhaskar Roy Barman
A black, snub-nosed bitch, a jaw shoved out,
Your eyes throwing forward a wrinkled reproachful look,
Your fur so brindled as to give one to understand
You were not pure,
Receded into oblivion.
Suddenly you intruded into our memory
When we were observing the third death anniversary
Of our Father.
About this time three years ago
Father was admitted to the hospital
Believed to be a gateway to the abode of Death-
He had suffered a stroke at the machination of a Death-messenger.
Wifely-sonly-daughterly duties marshaled us
Round his bed in the hospital.
No one had enjoined upon you the dogly duty
To be on guard over the house.
We completely forgot about you;
We forgot you have appetite to appease.
We enjoyed staying in the hospital
And doing our duties turn by turn by our Father,
For it turned out pleasant
Eating in one of the hotels that mushroomed around the hospital
To cater to the needs of relatives of the patients
Admitted to the hospitals.
Over the seven days we stayed in the hospital
You had guarded our house lest a thief break into it.
Hunger had not deterred you from your dogly dutty
No neighbour had given you food.
When we brought home Father dead
You gave us mute solace,
Then succumbed to hunger.