Reflections from our balcony


Our balcony was a rectangular one –

squared-oval shape,

There were no chairs,

and we had to do with borrowed ones from inside,

from here and there,

The somewhat narrow lane

below our first-floor balcony

had once upon a time

familiar people treading on it,

Now strangers pass by

smiling and spitting on it;


Over the years – as a child –

How can I forget our lanky next-door uncle

returning from office in the afternoon

with a Shaikh Brothers loaf,

Aunty returning back from office

with bundles of spinach,

Toddlers on a joy ride in their miniature engines

under the watchful eyes of an elderly,

often screaming out a warning of an approaching vehicle,

Our veteran Khura

out with his Labrador and a stick in hand;


Recent years –

I had almost forgotten our balcony,

and the only time I stepped on it

was when I waited after pressing our calling bell,

It’s only now that I am spending more time on it – from it,

It’s as if our balcony beckons me

to spend time on it – from it,

and make up for those lost years;


These days –

I no longer press our calling bell,

I don’t go anywhere outside,

I sit in our balcony on a borrowed chair,

I sip my morning cup of tea,

I then get lost in plots and pages of a fiction,

It’s almost noon now,

Humanity, strangely hasn’t woken up as yet;

© Sabah