'Amma, Amma, Will My Cat Eat My Rat? ' - Poem by Prathibha Nandakumar
The child came running, scared
'Amma, Amma, will my cat eat my rat? '
She was consoling personified
'No, no, its your cat
and your rat, aren't they? '
'But... but... do they know it? '
'They know because...'
God! why are children's eyes so
clear and deep?
'They know because the river
does not drown its fish
and the hill does not gobble up
the young ones playing in its lap'
The child went away satisfied.
But doesnt it happen?
Doesnt the river drown its fish?
Hill gobble up the young ones playing in its lap?
The flowers snuff out their own fragrance?
Even the loved ones have to stay away
and be silent. The tongue falters.
The broom is scared to sweep the
crumbs of dream scattered around the bed
The fire refuses to burn.
Air complains of too much work
The upstairs wants to come down
Water is tired of running down stream,
What can one do if the water
wants to climb up?
If the fish go on strike
or the leaves stop breathing?
What can be done?
She carefully spreads
the cloths on the line.
Remembers he always calls her
the mother earth.
She cannot be angry.
Anything can happen at any time
Translated from Kannada by the poet
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