Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Memories of a litchi tree


Summers were
An endless sea
Of street urchins
Eyeing our litchi tree
All hours of the day
And night.

The unmistakeable
“Thunk”, “thunk”, thunks”
Of stones, sticks, sandals
Thrown at the tree
On our walls, windows, roof
Woke us every morning.

No threats scared the urchins.
Once, the house servant
Ran after them
With a broom made of bamboo twigs.
But they always
Came back.

The following summer
Father got the litchi tree felled.

The next day
Once again, the house awoke
To the “thunk”, “thunk”, “thunks”.
The urchins had discovered
The other litchi tree
At the far end of the quarter’s campus.

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