Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Mom-Ories - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Infant Hardy with his mother on the Roman road
Triggered image of Maud Gonne in Yeats’ class:
I recall climb on Chennai Rajaji Hall steps in 1949
With young mom, when I was three years old.
I remember looking out of the bars on the tram
In Madras when there was an explosion on it,
And it stopped: bus-trip with mom to Ettayapuram,
Of Bharathi the poet, with Arthur uncle and kids.
With Vasan leading on to deserted road out of town,
Regaling us with stories of green-arrow-shooting hero!
I was five years old, and remember being mid-order
With cousins milling, wide-eyed, reading in library.
Remember going with Mom to Tuticorin beach
And buying oysters from fishermen to boil them
At home, to be prised open for minor pearls,
Called ‘sannam’ in Tamil there where I was born.
Remember Mom dressed in green plain silk, slim
Going to Church alone at night in Jamburopuram,
Madurai when I was in second or third class,
And Papa had got us a boat-like firework and slept.
When I was in fourth standard, Papa was shifted
To Sankarankoil, I was left in her parents’ house in
Madurai, and I slept on ground on mattress with bugs,
Held back with ‘gamaxen’ power all around, that night.
Next morning my grandpa took me early across fields
Before train left, saying to my parents that all night
I was crying silently, and that I would not stay behind:
Parents took me in but, strange, I don’t remember crying!
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