Starless winter night, the cold, dark waters –
a boat floats mid river, away from the travellers.
Waiting, clueless, at the misty harbour,
the Boatman takes off his red-stained sweater.
Aghast and afraid he pulls it closer,
rendered doubtless and faint by his sniffer.
At a distance a murmuring crowd draws together –
the Boatman struggles to see by the light of their glowing tapers.
He goads his trembling feet to take him further,
the chaos, the screams, the commotion to discover.
A foreboding in his heart as he walks past the border
of the multitude of tiny blood-red flowers,
and sees the drowned – now rescued cadaver,
of the mother of the wronged and hatless, solitary smoker.
© Isha Garg