Anil Kumar Panda
It is said that there is a ghost
In the town. He wears a long
Coat and hides his face with
A muffler- made of wool. In
The summer too. They say it
As a tale to a child that he hides
His face for being ashamed.
That no one is scared of him.
Children make a joke of him
And some even offer him ice
Cream when he happens to
Pass by their school gates and
They draw their eye-brows up
When he finishes it in a wink.
Even in the chilly winter when
Snow gathers on his mufflers.
Housewives smile at him in
Expectation that under the
Muffler a handsome face may
Be hiding. And they run to the
Doors leaving their daily chores.
When he walks the street in the
Pale darkness of the evening.
Dogs have ceased to bark at him.
For he throws stones at them
With such speed that many have
Died with holes in their bodies.
It is better stop whining and
Hide under the stairs, in darkness.
Once in a fit of rage he sits on
The wall around the well and
Shouts out loud at the sleeping
Men of the houses. All are afraid
Of a simple soul expecting a
Dagger tucked in his waist. Time
Has changed. Ghosts have more
Simple hearts than suspicious mortals.
Anil Kumar Panda is from India. A mine surveyor and very interested in reading, writing and travelling. He has published two books of poetry, At present he is working on his third book. Many of his poems have already been published in national and international anthologies.