Kanjika: Some Lamentations 3

by Gagan Gill

This is the first night

Dry flour is scattered
on the ground


She will come
she will come
she will put her foot down
she will go

We will sleep
we will sleep
even in grief we will sleep

She will see
she will see
she will never see us again

We will tear
we will tear
we will tear out our hair in the morning

She will stop
she will stop
halfway down the road she will stop

We will forget
we will forget
in this very grief we will forget

The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein

The final translated version of the poem is by Jane Duran

Notes

In North India grief-stricken mothers scatter flour on the floor the first night after the death of a child, and wait for the soul of the dead child to leave a footstep or trace of its next birth there.

Comments

No comments have been made on this poem yet! Why don’t you start us off?