Stories, begging children, stray dogs –
it’s difficult to shake off.
Even when they go, they never leave.
Knowing they will always be homeless,
you unlatch your heart to let them in
Their ragged, messy prints on your spotless love’s floor
is your precious reward.
You don’t want them to grow into time and get lost.
Knowing there can be no happy endings tomorrow,
you bid them stay.
Sometimes, the only route to happiness
is to open its skylight and bar every other way.
Basudhara Roy is a faculty of English at Karim City College affiliated to Kolhan University, Chaibasa. Her poetry is featured/upcoming in Lucy Writers’ Platform, Berfrois, The Helter Skelter Anthology, Café Dissensus, Yearbook of Indian English Poetry 2020-21, The Aleph Review, Mad in Asia, Teesta Review, EKL Review, The Poetry Society of India, Muse India, Setu and Triveni among others. Her recent (second) collection of poems is Stitching a Home (New Delhi: Red River, 2021). She loves, rebels, writes and reviews from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India.