Learning by Heart
He recited a short poem to me
Which he had learned by heart
Not to impress or intimidate
Me, or anyone else,
But just in case one year
Spring might be late in coming
And he need cheer his friends
Saddened by the dearth of birdsong.
Or perhaps for that moment in love
When he would be struck speechless,
When he knew that he would need
To borrow another man’s tongue.
Or maybe just so that if he wanted
He could tie a brightly colored cravat
On the neck of an autumn crepuscule
Too-soberly dressed in a charcoal suit.
For Robin Varghese, April 8, 2010—S. Abbas Raza