“The Struggle Within” by Arshiya Kausar

Another day of sameness

Spent in a cubicle space

Lying down

Silence intervened with only

Slow squeals of the ceiling fan

Fighting a limp battle

Against the resonant heat

That makes sweat trickle down

That wizened skin of his

He goes fishing in the sea of memories

Claimed by Time

The Past fills up every crevice

Of his now stunted existence

It comes creeping with stealth

Like an old enemy

Bearing cruel gifts of reminiscence.

The soul retraces its journey

Recollecting a place known as – Home.

Strange sigh of bliss shudders through the body

With memory of sketching the sky

On the familiar courtyard ground

The smell of comfort pierces deep

With memory of walls protecting against outside

Indistinct peace inches forward

With Memory of afternoon naps on

The much compressed couch.

The longing aches every fiber of being

To grow up again where he belongs.

He blinks away the abyss

He knows now too well

The role played by Time

He has traveled the road home

Far enough to know

Home is not made of dust

But of footprints in the dust

It is not made of walls

But of imprints on the walls

It is not made of stone

But of shadows against the stone.

He knows it is only

When every corner

Speaks of stories

Whispers secrets

Evokes sorrow and solace

Holds a threshold diminished with feelings

Echoes with forlorn memories

That follow you to the last breath…

Only then a home transcends as part of you

And you carry it as part of yourself.

Poet’s Bio: Arshiya is a teacher from Pakistan. She studied English Literature at Kinnaird College for Women University. She spends her time teaching creative writing and passing on the torch of literary knowledge to her students at Lahore Grammar School. Her work has appeared on The Express Tribune Blog, The Laaltain (Pakistan’s first Bilingual Online Magazine), Eastlit Journal for East and South East Asia, The Nation Blog and 360 Degree Youth.

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