i sat in an arm chair
next to the window,
a book in my lap, pondering,
hearing the breeze rustle,
staring at the trees
and the apricot yellow rays of dusk
leaking in between the leaves.
as I returned to my book
and slipped from my own
into anothers’ imagination,
you came to my door,
which I had left open –
perhaps by mistake,
perhaps hoping for company.
you turned on the lamp –
my favorite one, hanging in a corner,
the one with the rust yellow shade-
and i came out of fiction
into a different reality,
seeing everything around me,
in hues of amber and gold.
sit down, I said, and you did;
we sipped on some tea,
i spoke of my book,
you spoke of the world outside,
of its sights, its wonders,
its weather and its people,
while i listened, enthralled.
dusk turned to night,
the air stilled, and so did our words,
you got up to leave,
come again, i said!
we will meet when we meet,
you said, and switching off the lamp,
left through the same open door.
you’ve come several times again
just as dusk settles in,
never announced, never expected,
turning on the lamp each time,
talking, smiling, sipping tea,
always leaving when you wish,
always switching off the light.
on some occasions you stand
by the door, your hand on the switch
while you speak in mumbled words,
turning the lamp on and off,
switching the world from golden to monochrome
in a short painless instant,
as if it didn’t matter either way.
i am thrilled by the light,
the conversation and the laughter
and the interminable cups of tea,
so on days you stand at the door
waffling, i wait for you to decide;
most often you come in later,
and we speak like we always did.
on days when you don’t come,
i get up at dusk and turn on the lamp,
make some tea and read my book;
wondering if I ought to risk
another evening of uncertain light,
or get up each evening at sunset,
lock the door and turn on the lights myself?