A Second Life

They came running

when they heard the crash

in the ravine

and found our car

resting on its roof

like a defeated beast,

its doors swung wide

its wheels still spinning,

its horn still blearing.

I screamed your name

and when I saw you

sitting in the dust

nursing your cut leg

I shouted with the villagers

Allahu Akhbar.


At the clinic

they closed the wound

with thread for sewing saddles

and nothing to dull the pain.

You squeezed my hand

as I looked on contritely.

God has granted you,

the medic said, hayat thaan,

a second life.


Four decades later

as you lay

in our bedroom

amid a clutter of tubes,

too drugged to speak,

I re-arranged the covers

and found the scar now faint

and thought of just how grand

our second life had been.


(originally published in Sukoon Magazine)

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