A Son’s Pain

We stand, on the opposite banks of a river,

We know not, how to swim,

We can just stare, at each other,

Longing for words, to come out,

Of our forlorn mouths.


There’s a ferry,

Connecting the banks,

The ferryman, a shrinking bag of bones,

Takes turns looking at us.

The fee he demands,

Is not for us to pay,

It’s too high, too vain.


He demands acceptance, he demands understanding

He demands the love that hangs, in the air, unrequited.

So there we stand, staring, uncaring,

Waiting for someone to speak.

The toys of my childhood are strangers to me now,

Just like your love,

That wastes away, unrequited.

I can’t pay you back,

For what you have done, for me.

I can’t say to you that I love you

Because something in me is dead. T


The thing in me that loved you,

Is lost, under the surface of tension,

That flows between us.

I don’t know where I got lost,

But I know, I can’t find my way back home.


I need to apologize, but all I can manage, is a grunt, and a sigh.

From your forgiveness, you can carve, new longing, new love,

But I am always the devil, the sum of your sins.

And I can carve, from your forgiveness, a new hatred.

It’s upon you to decide, it’s upon me to decide,

Which way to take, and which way is fake.

The sorrows, the regrets that exist between us,

Let us bury them, in the land we share.

Maybe we have killed each other,

Maybe the fire that burnt, and kept the cold out, is extinct.


But we can still try, to paint the sky in crimson.

The crimson of blood or the crimson of glory.

The story of us, that awaits to be written,

It’s upon us to decide, in blood, or in glory.

The air that surrounds, it’s upon us to decide,

To breathe in, or to poison out.


Maybe, I can never be what you wish,

But I am still your seed, your hungry garden.

The land around me is barren, and the sun is too hot

And I am thirsty.

One day perhaps, you will regret calling me your son,

But till that day, let me be your son,

let me be your sunshine.


~ Aatish Padhy | Edited by Afreen Zeb


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