Mean Dream

a poem by Huzaifa Zoeb

In a dream
I was walking down the busy road
When there was a commotion
And someone shouted:”Thief! Thief!”

Three men grappled with one another
And a rucksack.
They went round-about pulling at
the sack between them.
One was surely the victim
One was surely the thief
The third one looked like he was
the thief’s accomplice; but he
also joined the victim and
started hitting the thief.
Could the thieves have arranged
it this way? That one actually
robs, and the other catches him?
And the reason to do this? I don’t know.
They had hit the thief black
and blue and he lay dirty,
unwashed, clothes in tatters by
the side of the pavement.
The victim now turned out the
contents of the rucksack onto
the pavement. Crockery, plates,
bowls tumbled out without breaking.
‘I was worried about this,’ he
said finally and held a purse containing
a thousand rupees triumphantly.
He pulled out two notes and threw them
on the injured thief lying there. Why?
He did it instinctively, without thinking.
I remembered then I had to go shopping;
someone waited for me in the brightly-lit
shop across the road.
I woke up to realise the dream
was true to my mental state.
But its meaning, if it had one,
eluded me.