Neither Me, Nor You

Questions asked, eyebrows raised,

Fingers pointed , eyes watch- dazed

The man walked down the street that night

His head held so high, the tip of his nose seemed to touch the sky

No soul dared question his indomitable might

For the stars themselves went into hiding; such was the sight.

Even the moon glowed a mellow yellow,

In submission, its brightness acquired a humble darkness.

Fear dug a grave so deep into all minds

The man still walked, his stance defying his struggle of all kinds.

His eyes held a look akin

To the Himalayas – Deep, ancient and immovable.

The man moved, however; he moved as the owl howled.

He moved with a grace. A fluid, dark manner

In which, his shadowless shadow followed cannier.

The dumb humans just watched and speculated:

Is it me, or, is it you?

Death reached the structure that contained the destined soul.

It was neither me, nor you.

It was a girl, about ten years withered, beautiful in all,

But so weak, so tired.

Too tired to shut the blinds of her eyes, as her mind conspired

The exploits that were to come, should she live past the plague.

She now saw him, a new friend; an only friend with a form so vague.

He came closer.

With each step he took, a star came out in the dull sky.

The girl’s pain worsened as her smile widened.

She opened her arms – an innocent act with deep repercussions,

Reluctant, He reached out to the flickering, warm soul which the carbon matter outlined.

The body lay still. The mother cried first. The father second.

Heavens mourned as heavy drops of melancholy poured.

The mother cursed, wept, and cursed. The silly rain increased all’s thirst.

No one noticed him now. The stars were all out. The moon too.

They waved at the little girl. The girl waved at her mother, her father, from afar.

“Will they stop crying?” “Of course, my child.”

“I don’t quite like the noise I left behind.”

“Indeed. But that noise is something all beings do. Didn’t you, when you first sat in your mother’s arms? So loud, yet so mild.

Isn’t it beautiful, this circle of life?”

“And death, why are all so afraid? Their eyes wide like the moon and the moon dark like their eyes?”

The girl held death with her feathery, firm fingers.

Death found acceptance that night. The girl found paradise.

And through the bond that grew between them,

Something changed eternally in this world of mine, of thine

The Chauffeur of Souls to their Final Abode realised

The static, silent noise of fear is not pleasant, not right.

You can no longer see death pace

While you busy yourselves in running past life in a maniacal race

He comes slow and warm like the summer-kissed winds

He takes the soul ever so gently. Making no fear, making no noise.

Before you know it, he has bid adieu.

All we can do is fill our fearful, wretched hearts with

The sinful joy of knowing that at least this time,

It was neither me , nor you.

Soumya Bisht 


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