I did not think of you even once today
as I roamed the trail, meandering
down the valley, pausing to smile
at an old woman gathering wood
her face as gnarled as the sticks
she carried upon her back.
The tea pickers smiled as I passed
marching by; too late in the year
for plucking tea, I thought, too late
for me to stop and ask. For the shade
trees pressed closer, the track wound up
and down in spirals, the moment wandered
And was lost. In and out of thickets,
I went, rambling, not really caring
as twigs clung to my clothes. Was it the sun
in my eye or were you standing there,
that famous blue jersey, camera
shouldered in your signature jhola?
Must be the sun in my eye, for the mist
rolled in, taking me by surprise
and I shook my head and smiled
turning back as you vaporised into clouds
and the darkened shade trees
stood silent, craning their necks to the sky.