Monday, November 4, 2013

Encounter–II--A Little Bit of Rice

Encounter – II  /  A Little Bit of Rice
I was wandering in the country, when I met an aged man.
And it seemed that he was starving, so I offered him some rice.
He sat down then to eat it, and he ate it very slowly.
Each grain of rice, he savored, as he put it in his mouth.

I watched him as he sat there, but I felt that I would cry,
So I moved away and circled – and when I had returned,
I saw that he had eaten only part of what I'd given,
Which itself was but a smidgen, as I hadn't much myself.

And I saw that he was wrapping, in a leaf, what he had left.
So I asked him, was he saving it for eating later or
Was there someone, who was waiting, whom he'd saved a portion for.

But he only smiled and nodded, for his language wasn't mine,
And I watched him as he hobbled down a dusty country path.

I was hungry, so I settled down and ate my rice myself,
With a bit of precious lentils that I'd salted – and a pickle.

And I felt that I was guilty as I'd only given rice
To that aged man who seemed not to have eaten for a while.
And as I sat there eating, I remembered still his smile.

I sipped then on the water, that I'd carried in a bottle,
And I rose and walked to westwards, towards a village that I knew.
And I saw the sun was sinking – and my heart was sinking too.
For the stores I had were dwindling – and my stores by then were few.

But that aged man was walking, as I walked, within my mind.
And I saw that he was smiling, for that little bit of rice.

2013 November 4th, Mon.
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Some Earlier Encounters

The Teacher -- 2013 Sep

Encounter -- 2013 July

Strange Encounter -- II -- 2011 Nov

The Watcher -- 2006 Sep

Strange Encounter -- 2006 April

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