nightmare on name street


By Rajesh Mishra

“Nine times that night
she woke and felt her heart,
put her shoes on the next morning,
ran away and
came panting back at noon:
he was there on the highway.

In the evening,
while I was preparing tea,
she dozed off;
that is when
he took her away.

She was the ninth casualty, you say
all with the same name.
Why? What’s in a name?”

The aged dream detective
looked at her, sipping tea—
“His wife had the same name,
they lived together till eighty.
It is not known whether he loved
or hated her so, after her death and his,
he decided, there should be none
by her name, anymore.”

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