Round and round


 
Round and round goes his life.
So does his mind – round and round.
One more round around that birch tree,
singing songs, laughing away, with the sun in the eyes. 

One more around the boulder – sun-streaked.
He catches the glimpse of two silhouettes,
their arms around each other. 
Two hearts beating in sync with each other.
One scene after another.

Pattering feet, childish chortles, and milk bottles.
School uniforms, starched, ironed.
Playing hide and seek, report cards,
frolicking in apple orchards,
 jobs in alien lands,
dancing maladroitly to the tune
 of a thousand and one materialistic bands.  

Then an empty nest.
The two silhouettes are reduced to one.
One – lonely, stooped under the weight of memories
 cooped inside four walls.

He waits – to close his eyes for that eternal rest.
Will the nest once again pulsate
with the pitter-patter of tiny feet?
Will, he once again be lovingly greeted with tiny arms
 flung around sturdy shoulders?
  
The other oldies in the Old Age home,
euphemistically called the Happy Retreat
exchange reminiscences,
playing perfunctory games,
smiling through parched lips.  
He almost slips, grips the railing
watching them tight-lipped, but sees no oldies,
only a young twosome,
sitting on a boulder – sun-streaked.
And smiles a smile- tear-streaked.

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