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Raj Arumugam


A barren life


(i)

The shops


The fruit's finished, all eaten, dear,
so let's get to the supermarket for more;
O let's go then hand in hand,
you and me, to buy some fruit at Coles.


We've run out of chilies and tomatoes,
all cooked and eaten, dear,
so run along to the store for some;
O go on then as quickly as you can,
sweet child of mine, to buy these at Chan's.




No more bread and cake in the pantry, dear,
so let's get to the bakery for more;
O let's go then my lovely family of four
you and me, to buy some bread and cake at Jill's.
And when we're at it, little Sara,
would you like those pancakes
that come in the red plastic wrappers?




(ii)

To the Garden


Run along, dear little one,
to the courtyard and
pick a chili or two
from the green plant in the corner;
take a pinch of curry leaves
and come back to mummy
immediately.



Darling Bob, dearest Tom
beside our lemon tree
is thyme and parsley;
gather a handful each
and be back in a jiffy.





(from The Migrant - notes of a newcomer (February 1997- July 1998))

Submitted: Thursday, November 06, 2008
Edited: Thursday, March 11, 2010

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