Burden Too Long Carried


It is never cold here, I remember. Ache rests
in these bones whispering changes too subtle
for youth. Rest, they tell me. Enough.

A sunny room in the west tower; weaving
to occupy my hands and the chatter of girls to numb my careworn mind.

I remember when my mother sent me to him.
Too-dark skin and a broad flat nose,
young as these girls and full of silliness.

He beat it from me quickly. Silent —
I watched the others take my place,
a procession I was not allowed to mind.

My skin has dried and wrinkled in his house,
stretching thin as memory over fragile,
twice-broken bones and hope like dust.

And now the man is dead. And it would be
so easy. To rest among girls not afraid of chattering and say that I have done enough.

It would be so easy.



M.A. Mohanraj
February 5, 1997