A Hundred Miles

The room overflows
With people
Known, unknown.

They lay their bundles
Silent, without a word.
Another hunches by the door, once in.

A third with a child, asks for milk
With silent eyes, words not spoken.
This is all quiet as a painting.

The solemn dark of Amrita Shergill’s Three Sisters
The stark lines of Somnath Hore
The moving bones of Zainul Abedin.

But the images are stirring
The door is unlatched
More come in.

They are asked: do you need anything?
Tables are removed, then chairs
Make room for hope.

No one is asking for tea or water.
They are just happy to be in.
No one asks where they are from, why they are here.

And what happened to them along the way.
All that later.
Right now, they are here.

Noah’s ark, a room with no view, no windows
The dark outside
When four by four means forty.

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poetry has been published around the world, and in the anthologies 40 under 40: An Anthology of Post Globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala), A Change of Climate (Manchester Metropolitan University, Environmental Justice Foundation and the University of Edinburgh) and the Sahitya Akademi anthology of Modern English Poetry. His recent collection of poems, River Wedding, has just been published by Poetrywala and has been widely reviewed.  

Featured image credit: Europeana/Unsplash