Ashok Silwal

Locked down again!
As a ‘prisoner’ confined in his cell
But protective…
In a state of isolation,
Restricted access as a security measure,
Emergency protocol,
Forbidden leaving a given area,

COVID-19 virus strikes again!
No exit, no enter.
Obedience… acceptance…
Stay at home!

But, in the wall,
From outside or from inside
Windows mean openings.

Rectangular, square, round, or oval,
Narrow or wide,
Of wood, metal, plastic, stone…
Traditional or modern,
With or without curtains or blinds,
Decorated with hanging flower pots
Or aseptic, industrial..
A window always suggests
Air, light, protection, some mystery
About who and what is hidden behind…

From the street,
I look up;
Some windows are closed, some are opened.
I imagine the gestures inside anyway,
I hear the little baby calling his mom,
In cries and laughs;
The sister singing, the TV on,
Some shouts,
The noises and curry smells of cooking
Come to me and fill my nostrils.
Someone looks out and smiles.
The window warms my heart….
I’m not locked down!

From inside, sitting on the sofa,
I look at the piece of the sky:
A little cloud passes in the blue
And the flying birds,
Electrifying my dreams…
And later, in the darkness, I will choose my star.
A dog is barking, children are playing…
Window: as the magical carpet of Aladdin.
Life in familiar noises…
I’m not locked down!

Because windows speak
Of feelings, of habits, of traditions, of intimacy,
Of ‘somewhere’…
Never just useful…
They are beautiful too
Like the Peacock one in Bhaktapur;

They mean communicating, observing, exchanging,
They mean protection, freedom, dream.
They always open about something…
Even closed, they are never closed
From outside and from inside
They have unlocked life!

They make you feel the family,
The others, the street, the town, the friends,
Your belonging to life..

And since
‘Where there is a will, there is a way’…
I’m not locked down…
I open the window….

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