The sum of life

a poem by Abraham Oommen

Couched in my old saddle
I worked out the sum of my life
Started from childhood innocent
Where I found everything
To be added to my being
Moving on to vigorous youth
Additions and subtractions made I
Then stained with experiences
I did much subtractions and additions
Till the page took a horrible shape
Of my life as a whole in numbers
At last I got the sum!
The whole life’s total!
That amounts to nothing but a zero
I stared and stared at the zero’s
Circumference that grew bigger and bigger
Till it gulped me in it
Tears rolled down my cheek to the page
That seemed a complex web of numbers
In additions and subtractions
Alas! is it for man strives
Breaking and making
Taking in and giving out
Until he finds himself
Encircled in a big zero!