homewards//

Forty-four days since we left the city,

mother said we were going on a journey

so we took everything we owned,

and began a walk that hasn’t end yet.

The baby is crying so much,

she hasn’t stopped since we began

and I know there will be no silence,

until the heat subsides.

In the shelter a good man offered us,

we drink water and eat some food,

mother drops her pallu and lies

down on the floor for a bit, resting.

I look out at the dust on the road

and close my eyes in the coolness of

the tiny shaded room,

trying to remember the last time

we were home, the roof above our

heads something we could call our own.

I slip into deep slumber and dream of

the time we’ll never be in, being held by

the hand by parents who care too much

and instead i wake up to mother holding

up our belongings with a knot on her

head, beckoning with her tired eyes

to return to our dreary walk.

As i rock the baby, walking in

my mother’s shade, i try not to look

at all the cars passing by.

Vehicles covering distances we could

not in a month, filled with happy families,

who are united, joyful, alive.

Mother doesn’t look at the crying bundle

in my arms because like me she knows,

she knows by the end of this journey,

there will be two of us returning

to the home we left as a

family of a hopeful four.

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