Talking with a Phantom

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Here’s an evocative poem from Sunil.

How are you?
Mama calling, my dear boy. Cannot you recognise my voice?
Yes, me too. Hearing your voice…after so long.
So, how is my daughter-in-law, grandsons?
They have forgotten me. All of them.
I am good!
USA? No. Not interested in coming over again.
No. Happy in the ancestral home near the river and the rubber plantations. Love the green hills
and their native scents.
Remember those rubber farms, Sid? Other side of the river. Yes. We used to go for the picnics.
Your dad had planted those plants for the prosperity of the family. He is no more…his memories
linger. They are alive. I hear him coughing.
Hi there?
Cannot hear me?
OK. Going for office, Sunny.
OK. I will…I will call you up tomorrow. Take care. My nurse is here. Taking away the phone
from shaking hands.
I know, I know… the telephone line is dead…dead for years.
Who can stop a mother talking to a son?
Take care.
Say to family I miss them all. Wish to see them. I pray to God for a reunion.
Know you want but do not have time for me. Do not worry, child. Be happy!
Bye-bye, my dear son

Pic from Net

Mumbai-based Sunil Sharma writes prose and poetry, is into literary journalism and freelancing. A senior academic, he has been published in leading international journals and anthologies; three collections of poetry, one collection of short fiction, a novel, co-edited five books of poetry, short fiction and literary criticism. He’s recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ Inaugural Poet of the Year Award 2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project, Happiness: The Delight Tree 2015.