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Who else is there to come?
The married are all at home.
Alone in the deserted lodge
I am waiting for someone.
Is there anyone else to come?

The water jug has a hole.
It lies in a corner of the verandah
With the long neck of a camel.
Is there anyone else to come,
Tired, sweating, thirsty?

The fortune teller with his parrot is gone.
The villager looking for the house of the
ENT specialist is gone.

Everyone comes here with a thirst,
Along the same road yesterday came
The prophets and the messiahs
Sacrificing man to fate.

Gone are the emperors who
Tempting us with shady trees and wayside wells
Robbed us of our human lives.
Gone are Hieun Tsang and Vasco da Gama.
And Gandhi with the old time on his watch,
Gone too are the lip-revolutionaries
Dancing their tiresome plenums,
Draining the jug to its final drop.
Gone are all the minor characters
That I knew would come.

But from our train
Dalhousie still waves his green flag.
American wheat leers at our hunger:
Long live free India.
Is there anyone to come?

Those who have once entered
Refuse to quit.
They linger on in disguise,
A mind, a face.
Banners, rallies, maxims, people’s ministers:
How soon they were all turned into
Oppressors’ masks
As if the hand that supported the head
Suddenly rose to bite, like a serpent.
Our sleep breaks into delirious sobs.
Is there anyone else to come?

The seminar of crows
On the neem over the yard.
The future is as dark as themselves, they believe.
No crow announces the arrival of a guest
Yet I leap up, sure that someone will turn up.
Who is to come at this midday hour,
When flowers droop on the banks of the lake?

My dear friend?
My future bride?
A new ship in the harbour with
Answers to all the questions?
A Red Star over the land?
The liberation army?
Who is to come at this midday hour,
Who, tell me, who?

It is Sunday.
Maybe the Church is dispersed
Or the morning show over.
A herd of sheep passes along the Bannerji Road:
They are, all of them, lame.
The summer path is blazing hot like a butcher’s knife.
Let not poor Buddha appear now.
What can he do if he does come?
Which one of these lame creatures
Can he choose to save
Upon the mercy of his mere ten fingers?