Amidst The Maddening Crowd
Poem By Saima Sharif
It's a midwinter night. There's no snow.
But the snow-like silence falls upon the neighbourhood,
Except for the trudging of some possums with a few breaks.
The moon light floods the floor through the bay window.
I walk to the balcony,
A misty breeze moistens my face.
I look up at the crescent
That stares at me with a silvery smile
Mingled with a pain of solitude.
I look down the balcony…
The flowerbed of red and white blossoms
Welcomes me with an enchanting fragrance.
An ambulance a few metres away speeds by
Followed by a police car.
A cardiac arrest, or a respiratory attack…
An alarm for an emergency, or for a disaster,
Is there an alarm for good news?
Is there a ‘breaking news' for good news?
A lizard ticks like the arm of a clock.
There's only one letter in the box
Just a flyer.
I try to reach the back of it a few times
Guessing to miss any more in the darkness of the evening.
I give a faint smile…
I could just make the mailbox smaller;
I will paint it like a garden gnome.
The message bank of the landline beeps,
I press play, just a telemarketing call.
No need to use the voicemail option.
I sigh deeply to myself.
There's a long queue at the bus stop
I sit by the window as usual.
At the next stop, it gets tightly packed
Still it's quiet except for the flipping of turning pages.
There's a crowd all around,
But everyone's aloof among the maddening crowd.
Everyone has only one companion…
Either a book or an e-device.
The bus enters the tunnel,
It's pretty dark,
I close down ‘And The Mountains Echoed'
And rest my tired lids.
It's dark inside the tunnel
Under the city flooded with lights,
And it's a quiet, solitary journey among the mob,
Amidst the maddening crowd.