Family Photograph & Voices of the Past

Family Photograph

smooth to the finger paper-thin and silent

the past comes back to life almost untouched

barely a few specks of dust hanging in mid-air

high above the river (was it the Godavari ?)

children’s faces floating one quiet evening

eagerly awaiting their future

and so many years to come

they sit in a long-gone boat

my mother among them

(Jivah’s arm wrapped around her)

so much younger than I can ever be

their eyes brimming with light

an unknown house stands at the back

what makes those dark trees

arching over the water so familiar

although I have never seen them?

precious scenes adrift for years

in the deeper currents of my days

carried by her voice

as she told me about her past life

beyond oceans I could not imagine

precious scenes smooth to my fingers

shining bright into what was her night

they ultimately become mine

a light to hold in my hands as I go

Voices of the Past

we walk on in the dark

forever unfolding the past

as in the pages of a worn book

close to the tall whispering trees

at the back of the garden

brushing the tips of our fingers

along scented barks and thick leaves

in search of verses

spelt in a lost alphabet

adult voices rang late into the night

lulling us to trustful sleep

we did not always understand

their words echoed by the breeze

in an empty veranda

could they ever be forgotten?

as the present recedes

a promise to be fulfilled

and an unsolved puzzle

#Mana

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