Unsung Hero

starry night
in the grass you lie
in the bed of dew

I remember how I used to light up the fire
with my flame sticks
as I am doing now
but I can’t
I can hold now only salt in my eyes.

I climb upstairs to look from
the large windows
but with whom?
I live in a house without mirror,
and there is no place of it.

There is a thick mist in the hills,
a light drizzle
and I look at the tributaries that flow below.

I have kept my flame sticks so long
on the fold of my shirt collar,
I bring them on now.

I remember the warmth of your fingers,
your palm full of hope,
from suffering to suffering.

I turn around to look at the solitary tree
and the dark crow
with wings of metaphor.

I fling them towards the tree,
the crow picks them up and flies away.
like my messenger, my unsung hero.

Gopal Lahiri is a bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 29 books published, including eight solo/jointly edited books. His poetry and prose are published across more than seventy journals and anthologies globally. His poems are translated in 16 languages. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2021. He has received Setu Excellence Award, Pittsburgh, US, in poetry. He is the first recipient of. Jayanta Mahapatra National Award for Literature, 2024. Read other articles by Gopal.