last rites

My fathers and I sit by the Hoogly

Lit by diyas glowing on dinghies

The bustling city with its pancaked lights

Refract the water in the fractured night.

They tell me how nice it was to meet

Yet another uncle who died last week

How his son was overtly devotional

The words he spoke at the funeral

His voice thick with emotion, his stories

Jostling with regret, tears and worries.

The skies have faded into a grey fog

Stars vainly try to shine in the smog

That pretends to be a cloud. How 

Can I explain, that my fathers are now

Here with me. I know what they insist

I do and don’t. I could happily list

The disapprovals, acceptance, delight

If only I could have some more “last rites”, 

I would not sit silently among white-clad mourners 

Who pretend to care. I would talk loud and clear

I would tell the world of nights like these

Of adventures shared over seven seas

And I’d never regret. Only look back with pride, 

To have known these lives. To call them mine. 

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