Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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PRASANNA KUMAR MISHRA
 

THE GHOST OF THE UNBORN


All your breasts  
overflow with milk.  
Overbrimmed pitchers, spilling water,  
Mothers ! You'll pass this way !  
On this path, from the river.  
Dripping milk, you'll pass by,  
drop by drop...  

Mother died  
unable to give birth to me,  
I died without being born.  

Same womb, same flower, same pain,  
and the accumulated milk meant for me, dying;  
now in this tree like an unseen bird  
I perch, oh mother!  

Like you, too my mother  
used to fetch water from the river,  
I could have been born from your womb too,  
I too could have been cradled in your arms,  
I too could have reached for the milk in your breasts,  
and I too could have been the star of your eye.  

But I have no lips,  
and thirst cries on only for milk.  

This way you will always pass by,oh mothers,  
I could have been your child too.  
  
  
Translation :
Jayanta Mahapatra  

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