Sunday, September 12, 2010

Poem: Gardens

1


I wrote my parents
of the anti-nuclear march
in Washington
freedom ride
to Chestertown

explosions of silvering
world and glass
so fragile in our hands

(not of clumsy love
ardent and fragile
on the trip back)

my dad – HARVARD WORLD BANK FORD
advisor to dictator Ayub Khan –

dictated a letter

“you’re a freshman
think
don’t act

there’s so much

not yet Montaigne
nonchalant among cabbages
I wonder

will the world
outlive its gardens


2


that summer in Pakistan
sun soaked
my father’s house

Taj – man of many languages
and hopes for his son –

served the meal

five other servants
moved quietly
behind the doors
and in Karachi gardens
where the cobras glide

naga
hooded king of fears
rears

fanged flower among flowers

“aren’t you a socialist”
my father asked


“everyone
should be a socialist

when young”





This poem was initially published in Agni.

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