THE EXACT HOUR
Who wakes me to this
dawn-hour of the gods?
The blessings of a lifetime
are gathered in the east,
are scattered on the bed,
the banana leaves, the small plants
in their handmade pots,
the early leave-taking from sleep.
Nothing seems to matter except
this exact moment of celebration.
Somewhere else, generous as it
always is, the earth prepares itself
to bring back a time that was
always strong with memories—
a young, fragrant time
of summer flowers and promises.
Is it for this that I am where I am,
away from all familiarities?
Is it for this that the body
grows in time, each small moment
a gift for the future to keep, despite
the pains, an occasion like no other?
All the gods are here and listening
to the questions and doubts of the mind.
Bibhu Padhi's poems have appeared in distinguished magazines throughout the English-speaking world, such as The Contemporary Review, The Poetry Review, Stand, The Rialto, The American Scholar, Chest, Colorado Review, Confrontation, Poet Lore, Poetry (Chicago), The Southwest Review, TriQuarterly, The Antigonish Review, The Toronto Review, Queen’s Quarterly, The Bombay Review, The Illustrated Weekly of India, and Indian Literature. They have been included in numerous anthologies and textbooks.