A Poem for Gulam

This is for a friend lost, who I didn’t at the time know was a friend.

The people they forgot you.

They never stopped to think

Of the loneliness you conquered

By turning to the drink.

Your children didn’t want you

Snoring in their posh beds.

So morningtimes you’d come to ours

To finally rest your head.

Regaled us with your fables

Of exploits young and old.

Tall stories round the table

Weren’t all you ever told.

Sitting around the fireplace

Inhaling long and slow.

You’d blow smoke rings into the air

You’d tell us what you know.

Of Maya and the Romans,

The Moghuls and the Huns

Entertained us with your wild tales

Your wittiness and puns.

And when the wandering took you,

You’d disappear for days.

Who had the right to judge you?

We’re all set in our ways.

Its not true none remember.

Its not true all was lost.

For every glowing ember

Reminds me of the past.

-Sarah Ahmed


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