If you see an old man sitting alone at the bus stop and wonder who he is I can tell you. He is my father. He is not waiting for a bus or a friend nor is he taking a brief rest before resuming his walk. He doesn't intend to shop in the nearby stores either he is just sitting there on the bench. Occasionally he smiles and talks. No one listens. Nobody is interested. And he doesn't seem to care if someone listens or not. A stream of cars, buses, and people flows on the road. A river of images, metaphors, and similes flows through his head. When everything stops at the traffic lights it is midnight back in his village. Morning starts when lights turn green. When someone honks his neighbor's dog barks. When a yellow car passes by a thousand mustard flowers bloom in his head.
Originally published in the July 2018 issue of Words Without Borders. Original text and translation © 2018 Ajmer Rode. All rights reserved.
Ajmer Rode is the author of two books of poetry in English, Poems at My Doorstep (Caitlin Press, 1985) and Blue Meditations (Third Eye Publications, 1985). His poetry collection Leela, coauthored with N. Bharati, is considered a notable work of contemporary Punjabi poetry.
Date Published: 2018-09-15
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/mustard-flowers