Hope and Other Losses

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05/02/2015 by Siddiqui Fayesal

The night was not dark.

How could it be when
A battalion of filament bulbs,
Hung low from long
Serpentine wires,
Throwing their yellow
Light to the darkest corners
Of the tiny room?

The men sat around square
Tables and played a form
Of Dice.
The smoke from their
Cheap cigarettes rising
In characteristic formless
Guile and dying
Against the harsh yellow

They exchanged money
While cursing the winner.
Whining about their losses
But still playing another game.

Just one more. Maybe
I’ll win it all back.

They throw their earnings
On the table with unsuppressed
Malice but, yet, look
On with hope. They looked
On with hope and kept
Their fingers crossed and
Prayed to the local deity
For luck.

It was the beginning of the game.
The bigger deities will
Be called forth later.
When the losses starts mounting.
When they realize that they
Have not another pice to
Take to their paan chewing wives
And Naked children,
Only then.

Hollering in the town’s dialect
And calling each other thieves and
Other names,
They rally against all
And call for murder.

Their anger is restricted
To their den.

At home they slouch
And weep for their losses
While their wives curse
Their luck.

The children
Sleep on mats on the floor
Hoping for some breakfast.

They lost not hope,
As it is freely gotten
And not lost easily.

Siddiqui F.

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