Penitence - Poem by chandra thiagarajan
"Oh! Mummy, Mummy, see, "
Came rushing my little girl of three;
Into my fold she snuggled tight,
Fully exhausted by the horrible fright.
Her scream of terrible scare,
The maternal heart could hardly bear;
Twitching to keep her fear at bay,
Kissed I, her rolling tears away.
"Why my dear, did you scream?
Were you really in your dream? "
Enquired I stroking her fringe of hair,
And to pry, left my easy-chair.
"Ah! mum, there—there, see—
Ghost, a ghost—under the tree! "
Mumbled out the innocent child,
And let go again a shrill cry—so wild.
Behind the tall tree trunk,
I saw a face that soon shrunk.
It belonged to a boy of about six,
Who kept my daughter in a fix.
Masked with a mock-face, contorted,
He made faces at the child, and sported—
My nerves at it got stiff and taut;
Must sure, teach him a lesson-I thought.
"What sort of parents are these,
Who've brought up their son, to tease?
Him, they should, certainly reprimand,
Else, God only knows, where he'd land."
Saying so, in haste, after him ran I,
And bumped on his parents, who did sigh;
"Please, may we know the matter? " they queried,
And I related the incident, too worried.
I exhorted, "A child's mind is like clay,
It could be moulded in any way,
This experience of her terrible scare,
Will, sure, hamper her mental flare."
"Sorry, Madam, sorry, " the father apologized,
"I'll not let him out, in future, so disguised."
For buying the mock face, his wife he chid,
And to tear it to pieces, his son he bid.
Days rolled on, I forgot the cub,
Until a day, I saw his aphonic rub
Silently with a boy of his age—
He was like an angry lion, in his cage!
It dawned on me, Ah! he was dumb! .
Oh! dear! tears rolled down my eyes—I was numb!
My sympathies towards him gushing flowed—
Dwarfed and with penitence, knelt I and bowed!
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