Pre-Dawn Rituals Stop asking what's on my mind?

It is not always That I can separate the grain From the chaff Not always, Can I decipher what graffiti My heartbeats scrawls Well if you must know My unfinished sob song Pre- dawn rituals In the hours before dawn lowering my guard; I unmask Shedding without shame Silent tears Undeterred, pre-occupied, I conquer the day At home, post work, Engaged with the virtual world Random reads, chats and wisecracks I wile away hours Till I am defeated In the hours before dawn I disengage, opening flood gates And drown in my longings for you Vanquished in the dead of the night The dams come crumbling down In these dark hours preceding dawn I seek and clutch your leftover playthings

You belong to me in these hours Which belong neither to the day or night You are mine alone And I cling, I cling Shedding without shame Silent tears Groping in the dark Clinging, clutching, silently weeping Often it is your teddy or your favorite doll Sometimes your dainty shoes Or your unfinished sketch book Or your box of leftover crayons That I hug and let go Of silent tears Inanimate objects come to life In my hands and I cling, I cling Clutching them close to heart Coaxing them to come and play with me Shedding without shame Silent tears Sitting before your Barbie house And play-kitchen, I order for tea And some cookies, if you so please And then greedily serve myself An extra helping Ignoring the clock Ticking away unrepentantly Unrelenting that you are fast outgrowing These silly playthings Far away from me

The ceaseless cruel hands of the clock Rushing away; always clockwise I surmise, you will soon outgrow your toys And my extended arms But never the span of my heart! As a token of thanks I take your doll or your teddy For a piggy back ride Sometimes they take turns Back to back I smile and I laugh and I pat my back Shedding without shame Silent tears Drowsy dog, Adolph Takes notice and guffaws Without rousing, he extends a paw Stretches out and winks Catching myself In his big brown sleepy eyes, I am conspicuous Hurriedly, I wrap your play things Carefully laying out your princess bed I strategically replace your favorite dolls I know, before it is dawn You will outgrow this bed too soon And no more shall you Ride piggy back on me Just before it is dawn It is time to sleep And I withdraw

Curling myself into a mothball Cocooned in my dreams I sob silent screams Willing you to return Back to me In the mornings I am always late The battles of the night Are to blame The morning rituals commence With facing the mirror Licking my wounds Mustering up my masks Preening them clean Of any telltale signs Of shameless silent tears Erasing the smudges I face up! Randomly choosing Which face to wear today? A smirk or a stupid grin, A distant far away intellectual look Or a dreamy eyed poet in reverie Anything but a hapless father Would do! Till the night falls that is And lets me return To your playthings, your imprints Inanimate leftover objects And I await your return At pre-dawn

Watching the hands of the clock Running ceaselessly, always clockwise I scream silently Shedding without shame Silent tears Shyam 01 May 2012

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