‘Kemplay Road’ by U.S.Dhuga


Side A

When I left the Kemplay Road this afternoon
the morning’s mist was turning into raindrops.
I waited underneath the awning
for a taxi which did not arrive as soon
as promised.  I watched two girls in flip-flops
hurry to their car beneath a yawning
inside-out umbrella; they laughed loudly
as they flip-flopped.  Brave peonies opened
on this first of June–the fools, their cloudy
petals plucked out by the wind.

I wanted to go home.
But when the taxi got to Paddington
I thought of you alone in Rome
and missed both trains in hesitation.

Side B

Reflected in the window pane
of the rattling rain
your face starts to ripple in the starting rain
but then the lights go out again
and flicker with the jolting train.
When the lights come back again
I watch the slant-wise wind-swept London rain
wash your face from the window pane.

Then my love looks all in vain,
I look beyond your face in vain,
and all that’s left is the dull pain
of pushing you away again
the way sometimes it’s not so much the rain
as what the wind does to the rain.


U. S. Dhuga earned his PhD, MPhil, and MA in Classical Philology at Columbia University (2006), after graduating from Amherst College (2001) and Harrow (1997).  He is presently Professor of Classics at Calvin College in Michigan.  His book, Choral Identity and the Chorus of Elders in Greek Tragedy, was published in 2011 through Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies. Raised in North London, U. S. Dhuga lives across and in between New York, Michigan, Toronto, London, and New Delhi.  Dhuga is Founder, Publisher, and Managing Editor of The Battersea Review–an international poetry quarterly spanning poets from over 20 nationalities, which can be accessed at thebatterseareview.com and batterseareview.com