The Glare Of The Leper
By Fiza Pathan
I ran into a leper outside the church right at the door.
His odour was repulsive, his body covered with puss boils.
I turned to get away, but he stopped me with his stare
─his eyes were blood red and full of tears.
He narrated to me the story of poverty in that one glance
─ the essence of the rich who throttle the throats of the poor.
I then ran as fast as I could away from the leper
but his gaze never left me even though
I put a huge distance between both of us.
Nervous have I been of late now, as I remember that look
which left me cold in the warmth of the morning sun.
I can’t concentrate on my writing, as on every blank page,
I see the face of the leper motioning me to come closer.
My pen is held by his gruesome blood stained hands
as I try to write my letters and correspondences.
Those bloody red eyes of his haunt me
─they reflect deep into my soul and see me
naked as a beast of the jungle.
Will no one pluck out his wise old eyeballs
and feed them to the vultures?
His look has left me empty
like a cup without its green tea.
My soul has grown weary and it flees
from my presence when I recall the look
… that glare which reads into the spirit
and the entrails of one’s body like a soothsayer.
My life has ended, now no longer will I
be able to show myself to the world.
I’ve grown insane and delusional
─all because of those blood red eyes
… those eyes full of tears
mixed with the grime on his body.
Lo and behold a judgement is upon those
who wrestle themselves away from
the glare of real pain
… the glare of true misery
… the glare of the leper.
Copyright © 2014 by Fiza Pathan
Image courtesy: https://arnel113.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/leprosy.jpg