Poem For My Son

I seem to know all about you:

your time, your place, your name,

the clean Indian-wheat colour of your skin,

your unpolished words.

But I know that there are also sounds

that you do not know, shapes

that you wouldn’t recognize.

For instance, the owl’s lean dark cry,

or the sea at Puri

during a small moon’s night.

And, at this hour, when

you are breathing so quietly

beside your mother,

I seem to hear a faraway whisper

that almost tells me

you’re not mine.

I hear the owl’s cry,

the gentle expanding roar

of the blue waters of Puri.

Never mind. I know where my night sleeps,

undisturbed by every sound and thought,

so peacefully.

–Bibhu Padhi, India

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