The Sun on the Western Horizon

-K Radhakumar

Last night I couldn’t sleep;
I kept tossing and turning in bed
Well into the small hours
And I woke to a terrible sky.
What a hangover!
I’ve to sleep off this hangover
Or it’ll spoil my appetite
And the whole day ahead,
My only day off.

What time do I usually wake up?
I wake up late – I always wake up late
Be it summer or winter.
Late morning routine things!
Late breakfast.
I’m always late for work every day –
This is my reputation among my fellows.
I say I’m sorry I’m late
But change I can’t and therefore, I don’t.
It has become a way of life
A dead habit to be changed, he thinks.
I’d like to stop drinking and smoking
But I just can’t kick the habit.
My morning is never a line of a good poem.

He doesn’t enjoy his lunch;
He’s always in a foul mood at lunchtime.
I haven’t had much of an education,
Much of a love, much of everything
I’m not much of a man, he feels.

Daytime philosopher of a man
With a pessimistic view of life –
Well, he’s a realist in the evening.
He drinks evenings
And he always begins his evening
With a Scotch and soda.
He styles himself on a complete
A full-size man
Not haunted by an insecure feeling,
A hangover from his childhood
And also by a gathering storm
For the last days of his life
In an old people’s home.
His two children have settled
In different corners of the country.
His morning always begins like today;
And his evening always ends like today.
He lets out a sigh
And philosophizes about the primrose path
And murmurs
‘Dust thou art
And unto dust shalt thou return.’