Theme: Teaching

His First Line

by Deepali Bhattacharjee
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The soft, tender hands held mine
Shakily, frightened;
I held it tighter and consoled,
“You do not have to fear.”
He looked at me again
For a comforting gesture.
I assured him again,
“You have nothing to fear.”
He picked up the pencil
And drew his first line
Then asked me,
“Have I written my first letter?”
I clapped my hands
And said,
“You have grown wiser.”
His fingers gripped the pencil tighter,
Now he was writing faster.
“A page has been filled up,”
He said,
“I want to fill another.”
I stood aside
And let his pencil wander,
From letters to words,
He now writes words in clusters.
I moved further away,
He doesn’t look back now,
He does not need the strength
Of my bony fingers,
Nor the kindly look
Of my dimming eyes.
I forget myself as a forgotten thought.
Yet sometimes,
When I sit alone
In my dimly lit chamber
And go through his letter,
I rejoice at the thought,
That he remembers the hand,
That held his when he drew his first line.
I draw in a deep breath and think,
It is true,
“A child creates a mother.”


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