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Manoj Kumar Meher


The other day we divided our mother
Chhotu claimed seven months
And I took five.

Though the slave of summer and rain
Destroys the bird's home,
Though winter's silent lover
Lays out the dead morning,
A bird
Ties the voice of relationship
Holds back tears,
Does not plunder anyone's beauty
Nor squanders anyone's happiness
Does not pile burning coals
On some happy family
At times keeps flying high in the mind's sky
And at others in the deep depths of the soul

Neither any bloodshed for mother
Nor stabbings for wealth
A bird goes on singing
For its lost lover.

That day
We lit father's funeral pyre
Chhotu took the plot of land
And I the house,
That very day we divided our mother.

Translated by Jayanta Mahapatra


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