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Fatherly Forms

When I feel down, like a small bulb dying

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among a crowd of condescending moons,

my guilty eyes see only one martyr.

He is a devoted, withering trunk

holding countless boughs, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruits.

Unmoved by his perpetual pain, like

greedy worms we feasted on his glory.

We picked up huge stones to stone him, sometimes.

Each dewy morning, the massive mountain

is losing his soil to the angry waves.

He walks around leaning against the walls

of the house he built but can no more own.

Like a scarecrow he kept us safe and fed

our fields, but since the avalanche of white

hair, he is toothless and frightens no birds.

And, when I spend the afternoon over

the bridge watching the fragile fish carry

their blissful bodies down the river, I

feel his youth in the rhythmic ripples and

know he would lie about his evening grief

Amit Parmessur

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