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.