Poems by Indrasen M Jayakar

Commandments

a poem by Indrasen M Jayakar

You have an array of dresses
And faces to choose from.
And you know the occasions they’re meant for.
If it’s nuptials, you got to put on a suit
And hide a real big toothache
In the middle of the large grin
You stick on your well-fleshed face.
If it’s a religious rite or ritual
You’ve got to do what others do.
If others raise their hands, raise yours.
If others utter a scream that no god on earth
Can afford to ignore, you utter one
So that you can admire the silence
That follows the utterance. If it’s a funeral
You got to stretch yourself enough
To wear a reasonably long face and rid your
Give-away face of the smallest trace of a smile.
And if asked to speak, be as serious
As the person who is no more. Use only those words
Which the living use for the dead.
Follow these commandments. And
You will have nothing to fear
After you are dead.