To the Lost Children
by Mohan Rana
I want to write to the lost children,
those whose clothes hung from the branches
of the mulberry tree, getting smaller
as the branches grew.
The tree gets thicker and thicker
until years later I see the old tree
bent over its own shadow.
The clothes turn to shreds;
their memories mix in the wind,
dissolve in water, sink under the seasons,
fade like a forgotten poem.
I set out to write about myself
but I start talking of someone else.
My contemporaries are growing older.
One day they too will go missing
like the lost children: one day.
One day will go missing out of many.
I want to write a letter
to the lost children
posted from their lost childhood.
From Subah kii Daak, Morning Post
The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein
The final translated version of the poem is by Bernard O'Donoghue
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013