It is a famous custom, perhaps one of the most ordinary,
Yet nobody can tell the purpose of the meal.
It is not to eat, surely, for food can be found outside.
Perfectly made ice-cream sundaes with cherries on top –
Surely, they cannot be matched by the meager food offered.
While one may argue otherwise, what they say is not true.
So one may conclude that a routine dinner
Serves the purpose of merry socializing.
Though from what I know of eating lunches
At the houses of distant family,
They are often not cheery. Quite contrarily,
They become breeding-grounds for hatred
And always result in some sort of friction,
Inside or outside.
So it is, an essential custom of the family,
Gatherings are not all they are made out to be.
Though there is inexplicable joy in eating with these distant relatives,
A sense of strange familiarity.
So I suppose it serves best to leave it unexplained
And make my way to the next such gathering.

* * * * *

I find that free verse is one of the best ways to express myself as a poet. It may not sound that pretty when read aloud, but I encourage you to try to delve deeper and immerse yourself in a free verse poem. It’s like modern art – hard to appreciate, especially for me. However, for those who appreciate it, every stroke of the paintbrush is a stroke of genius. There are some poets that can claim that their hands produce something similar as they type on a keyboard or write on an empty sheet of paper. Words are our colors, and our imagination our brush. I can’t claim to be such a genius, however, free verse is one of the best forms of poetry in my eyes.

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Rishi Sridhar

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