Poetry: Supatra Sen

Supatra Sen

The Class Isn’t Over…Yet

The giant bell clangs
End of the period
A brief pause
A new teacher 
A new subject
School to college
Then the university
The bell continued 
To summon
And disperse
Learners…
A few by choice
Most by compulsion

The morning bell
To assemble
And the last
Announcing departure
Class over
Work done
Now homewards bound…

“You can’t let your team down”
“Stand tall - fight”
“Give your all”
“It’s your story and only you know it best”
“Remember, your work doesn’t carry a price tag”
“The greatest is bought at the cost of great pain”…
Resonate
Reverberate
Do not let me rest 
Or even take a break

My mentors…
Your classes aren’t over…
Yet
***

Earth - Home…

“Is that the new house?”
More curiosity than pride
The mother assents
In a sense of achievement
“The mud structure
All swept away?
Nothing of the broken bed…or table?”
Questions – 
Or statements
Of mere information
As a reporter 
Post catastrophe

A cycle for a quick ride
Along the now 
Not- so- familiar
Muddy rutted paths
“They ask too many questions… 
I’m done
Let’s move…
Or you’ll miss your medicines…
To the elderly
And the canines their meal”
A note of caution

“Much too spicy”
The curt reply to a sparse appetite
“Return soon…return often”
Affection brimming
From all quarters
“I have nothing here
And I return 
Where I must”

No regret
Or remorse
Just “Take your medicines
Your food on time
Time…”
Unsaid
Unfinished… 
Banging shut the car door
Fastening the lock
“Carry some food
Cooked with home-grown spice
Or fish from the pond
Vegetables of this land
And a family photograph
Sweet pickle  
From your childhood mate
The old, old mango tree 
With fresh curd 
Of the cow’s milk
I’ve lately bought
You’ve not even seen her”
The rambling continued…
Her mother

“I am full 
Nothing more…”
The tightly closed palms
Earth-stained
Earth-tainted
The essence 
Of her Being
Mother, Home, Motherland
Roots
The inevitable destiny
Where do all return…
***

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