The Best of the Night to You, too, Bala - Part One

Written by: T Wignesan

   
                            Part One

                  for E. Balasubramaniam
                                      (June 13, 1935 - August 7, 1993)

So you took the covert road of the night
                                            and stalked me
while I listened to Vivaldi up to midnight
At two when you were ready to go
you woke me stunned stark in your memory
    your impishly entrancing laughter
        your dark bright pupils beaming through the slits of your tightly drawn lids
              your ivory teeth basking in uncontrollable mirth
your blacker than black ear-antennae and higher than high civil-servant brows
          marking your dark-diamond worth
     your patience
           your more than necessary feeling for the less than fortunate friends and relatives
stretched cummerbund tight round your caring nature

How you knew how to share your luck
Always a little put out for your beneficiaries' putout-ness
Worrying speechless night after night lest your luck run out
                                         teeth in protesting grind
against the risks of your calculated outstepping

Paths led up straight
for one whose smiles funnelled from the heart
     lit in ever-foraging circles of fire

There was no obstacle to the summit
        for you took with grace
               only what you knew how to spare
with care