Hands of Time

by Farhat Ehsan

Hands of Time

Everyone has a surreptitious side
Closet of skeletons they want to hide
Places that they don’t want to go
Scars that they can’t afford to show
Memories that would blur never
A moment that lasted forever
A fleeting thought you try to outrun
And suddenly the past comes undone
Sunless skies or cloudy hearts
Flashbacks gleaming in a million parts
A gentle smile, a hint of a face
Taking you back to a happy place
It’s a cable car on track so fast
Yesterdays turning to a fuzzy past
This minute and hour, this too shall pass
For they say life is an hour-glass
It’s funny you think one would learn
Walk away, not to look back or turn
Since it’s goodbyes that we hate the most
Yet paint sunsets, ships sailing away from coast
Maybe one day we’ll meet again
Foggy morning in pouring rain
Over coffee, chat for a few
Speak of life and how we do
Remember the years that we lost
Settling again in heavy frost
And once again we’ll build an empire of photographs to stay
Till mist of time decides to wash it away.


First Few Hours in Canada as an Immigrant

As the wheels touch the ground, I swing my head back and close my eyes.. Okay before you mistake it for some rotten script of a Hollywood movie, let’s snap back to reality. I just exhale and do a quick foot tap to see if my toes are still in place. The past twenty hours of being scooched in an airplane seat have made my legs numb and I would really appreciate a running circulation right now.

So here I am, in the North of equator and otherwise world’s second largest country by area. Thank Queen Elizabeth for the land of opportunities.. or more precisely infinite Tim Horton’s. Since I’m still not entirely worn down by the Trans-Atlantic demons and time zone battles, let’s play a little game of standing in an eternal queue for immigration. A couple of life times later, when they finally call my name, I walk the gait of a 27-year-old-infant who just picked her new surrogate parents. I tell them my purpose of travelling and trust me it’s not to determine my extra-ordinary power of endurance… or the climate. (Although I am pretty sure if I’m asked to fill out one more form to qualify for the former, I could fill it with my eyes closed. Wait, here let me help build the case stronger by documenting the whereabouts of every single ancestor of mine who inhabited this planet).

As I approach the baggage claim belt, a sudden realization hits me; by this point I don’t care if I lose my luggage.. or even a kidney. I just want a spot to lay down and rest my aching body. Oh right then you decide to single me out for special screening before I board my connecting domestic flight. Cool. Why yes, I’m brown, glad you noticed.

At last I board my last flight and what seems like an eternity later, I finally reach my destination. I sleep for the next two days and when I finally wake up, a subconscious smile escapes me. This place has welcomed me with open arms and treated me like a cherished child who gets the tough yet maternal love for entering the house after curfew hours, by a mother who is just trying to ensure that this child and everyone around feels belonged and protected.

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