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Jun 2020
There are six coffin bearers carrying a box,
It was a solemn procession with priests and pastors,
Rituals performed; requiems sung; lamentations heard,
Who is in the coffin? Who are the coffin bearers?
A flash of interrogations hit my heart and mind:
Where do they carry the body in the coffin?
Who are the priests and pastors to the one who is breathless?
Why are lamentations β€˜sung’? Why are rituals?
Are they to please the breathless corpse?
Where is the breathless corpse taken to?
Beyond doubt, the destination of the corpse is the cemetery.

Mourners and pallbearers are hired not by the corpse,
Dance performed; refrains gusted out;
Garlands of melancholic florets thrashed out;
Beats of unpleasantness resounded.

A silent spell practiced on the last journey of the corpse;
Neither a pallbearer nor the folks raised any slogan;
But everyone’s prayer in silence realized.

I am a passerby walking with a lot of reflections,
The coffin bearers shall be carried too one day,
The priests and the pastors will be taken in processions,
Rituals, requiems and lamentations will be enacted.
Coffins are ready for all with mourners and pallbearers,
Dance, refrains, garlands and beats shall be added to glooms.

I ask myself: when is my day?
Who shall make my coffin?
I cannot hear requiems in my long sleep,
I am far from rituals; dumb to lamentations,
I must reach my destination, whether l like or not,
Folks will never come with me,
For I came with nothing and leave with nothing.
Where do I go? Where does everyone go?
I cannot be a passerby to my own last journey.

I long for my day; it may not be my will;
But the day to all is predestined,
And we are to leave this shadow of life.

So, when is my day?
MBJ Pancras
Written by
MBJ Pancras  58/M/Chennai
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