Anna Sujatha Mathai




When I was a child
I thought as a child
I spoke as a child...
And then my mother sought to protect me
from experience ... and possibilities of pain.
From running through dark streets
at night, alone,
from holding up the face
to rain in ecstasy,
from rolling in the grass in a mad joy
after the summer's heat
at the burst of the monsoon.
She counselled prudence and good sense
to me, whose blood was fire.
Her cautions were cold water upon my body,
filled with desire,
longing for love and joy.
Let me be burnt, I cried, in that fire.
Leave me alone,
more childishly I said.

Today ... I am free to run
through streets at night,
and sing the moon my song of agony.
But joy lives in another country.
Besides, the great yearning is dead.
Desire and opportunity rarely coincide.