Poem of the week: Week Fifteen.

And with this post, I’m up-to-date with time. The third poem under the theme ‘Exile’ is from Jane Bhandari’s poetry book Aquarius.

The Exiles
– Jane Bhandari

My father-in-law
Could put down no roots 
When he was exiled 
From the land of his birth.
Each temporary house
Was furnished with hired furniture
And trunks covered with quilts.
Each temporary garden
Grew seasonal vegetables,
And the impermanent papaya:
No place was home.
The flowers were zinnias,
Not roses.

But my mother-in-law,
Already exiled from her family,
Lost to them by marriage,
Accepted each change as it came,
And made temporary living
A permanent way of life:
Grew bananas, a goodly crop,
Planted orange seeds secretly,
And sometimes
Got to pluck their fruit.
And each Diwali said,
Next year in our own home,
And planned the shape of her garden.

***

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