A branch, a rope’s-length. I could not conceive their power.
I felled the tree, I burned the rope –
but the Earth is host to countless trees right now,
to countless bits of rope …
to any number of mothers.
On Facebook I’ve just seen
the picture of a friend’s 80-year-old mother
quietly reading Rabindranath.
Another friend’s with his 90-year-old mother
at Dashaswamedh Ghat.
And I couldn’t even lay my hands
on a single faded photograph of my mother!
It is 35 years since. I longed to go
to the bank of the Niranjana River.
But that one branch, that rope’s-length
grabbed me by the neck
and slammed me down onto the Pratshilar Rock.

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