Jagannath rao Adukuri
A woman's man
On the mother’s knee, you got slapped
With alternate palms, warm with coal-fire.
Then the cradle went up by the mother's hand
You closed eyes to the world beyond cloth
Like you had done when you were in her.
Now a poetry- wet, gray-eyed thinker
You see the world is round and round
Like the little green tomato that grew
In the corner where the hairy tamarind
Shook its lengthy mane, sideways,
A home to eerie small town ghosts.
In the cradle you had swung and swung
When distinctions blurred in boy and girl.
Mothers and sisters preferred boy-girls
Of upbraided hair, with glistening oil.
Soon there were pretty wives-to be
Who would play hopscotch in squares
Or with toys with exaggerated mustaches,
Their pigtails decorated with flower.
The squares were unhoppable for child- feet
When you were a knickers-wearing male
And you were still a boy-girl for mama.
Now that mama is not around nor girl
Old boy, where is mama's overwhelming cloth
And the girls’ squares for the hopping feet?
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