Theme: Childhood

My Childhood

The midsummer tin-roofed alphabet-school
Burst with thirsty crows and earthen pots
Long-gowned smoky-eyed phantom-teachers
Guided tiny fingers along chalked letters
The water glistened telltale in the bottom
Waiting for the crows to bend and breathe
Deeply over their gently moving reflections

The pebbles would take long time to drop
In the meantime a squeezed citrus leaf
Mingled its delicious smell perfectly with
The lazy crow's caw on the branches
At the altar of the church I tried to find
The fragrance of my life's beginning
In the sandal paste and burnt incense
Our pond smelled of the aromatic chemistry
Of wind over water and long lotus stems

At midnight dark burglars made oval holes
In the neighbor's house with a shovel's thud
In the afternoon scary policemen arrived
Hand-in-hand with ebony-backed thieves
The ghostly tamarind brooded in the night
Little tomato plants shone red in the corner
Our petite pig-tailed girl played peeved wife
On long summer nights the circus band played
The stars flickered in the chinks of the tent.


More By  :  A. J. Rao

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