From THE TAGORE VARIATIONS: A Series of Poems Inspired by lines from Rabindranath Tagore
They took their seat in a corner,
and they sat so quiet and meek.
I asked them why they’d come,
but still they spoke not a word.
I offered them food and drink,
but smiling they looked away.
What else can I offer? I asked.
And again: Why are you here?
They turned to look back at me
and sorrow flowed into their eyes.
They rose then and bowed solemnly
and backed away toward the door.
Where will you go? I cried.
Tell me before you depart.
Their sad eyes rose to the sky,
then dropped down to the floor.
Is there nothing you can say?
I need you to speak to me.
They passed beyond the door
with a smile and a wave and were gone.
I found myself all alone,
but not quite as I had been
for the room looked emptier
and something had gone with them
to wherever they’d disappeared.
I sank to the ground and wept
mourning whatever I’d lost
till a voice inside me cried:
Let the time not pass in vain!
I ceased weeping then and rose
and left that place far behind
seeking I hardly knew what
but the road and its solitude
I could hear my soul exclaim
and my body sigh under the strain
and the air fill with shouts and screams
and the harp of the road break out
in the sweet music of pain
then take myself home and sit
in the corner so quiet and meek
as sorrow flowed into my eyes
and ask myself why I had come
and who I supposed I might be
Translated by AutumnThe Traveler’s Song DustAs If You Knew The Air Is Still Words Day & Night
and offer myself no reply.