This Gift of Silver by Shagufta Sharmeen Tania

Published in the Bangladesh Issue of Wasafiri in February 2016.

At one point, they started on ‘Oh the Grand Old Duke of York’.

And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.

As I rocked and floated like an empty canoe above the voices singing in chorus, I suddenly thought, hey, this here’s my mood song. Or, hey, this here is the national anthem for men with erectile dysfunction.

As soon as I repeated this to Joshua, he thumped me on my back and whispered, ‘Not another word. Come away.’

So here I am, in a fix, with my garrulous, unconstrained brain.