Mangesh Narayanrao Kale
In These Thirty Eight Years - Poem by Mangesh Narayanrao Kale
Innumerable serpents are springing up from my head
Just how many
Will your comb draw out, woman?
Is freezing my brains
Doesn't let me play
The game I have devised.
It is not merely the question of snakes
Nor do I complain
About my body turned black and blue
With their stings
But it terrifies me
That even when they are fast asleep
Their poison keeps dripping
Through my eyes
How long will I beat this earth
Bewailing these snakes
How many wells have I sought
How many of them have I turned upside down
Even after so many years
I simply can't unearth the snake hole
In this antiquated step well of yours
Have I grown scales on my whole body
Or I am about to shed my skin?
It was fine
When the snakes were raising a racket
In my brains
Now they are crawling all over my body
Even the soles of my feet shudder
Will I have to go to my house crawling?
In which glass flask
Should I place this plastic moulded serpent?
This crimson cotton textured snake
Or this one with cold polythene body
Just jumping up and down on the surface
How many serpents have gathered
In this glass flask
In these thirty-eight years?
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