On a dusty road
that led nowhere
Stood a small chamber,

A grilled window,
a half broken door.
As if a clot,
not anything more.

But though it appeared
so from far
It was anything,
I’d say, but a scar.

For in it,
was a different world
Old, bleak,
yet with wonders curled.

Smell of paper,
light of oil
Stains of ink
and files piled.

An old man
sat in the front
Burdened by duty
but not blunt

Lines of age
criss-crossing his face
But with his glasses,
he was all grace.

Whispering to himself
while he wrote
Anything came,
he made a note.

A letter for the maiden
who was no more.
A telegram for the soldier
who was now a lore.

A mail from a village
drowned in rain
A postcard
from a town in Spain.

In one corner stood
a bent figure
His hands moved
with so much vigour

A ‘stamp’ and ‘scratch’
and ‘scratch’ and ‘stamp’
The music of it,
never going damp.

But on and on,
as days went by
The chamber
began to slowly die.

The scent of paper
began to fade,
And the light, slowly,
took a darker shade.

Nothing now
for the ‘no more’ and ‘lore’.
Not a thing
from the broken door.

The murmurs and rhythm
dropped low
It needed help
but how could one know.

For it sat on the road
that led nowhere
Which is now haunted
by a silence so rare.

-Iflah Laraib