The Wound of the Thorn

He lived a long life
For his name to survive.

The earth was vast
And his village was small;
All his life he slept under one thatched roof,
All his life he defecated in the same field;
And always he ,wished
For his name to survive.

All his life he heard three sounds only:
One was the crowing of the cock,
The other was the muffling of animals,
And the third was of the morsel chewed
In the silken light of sand dunes,
He never heard the sound of the setting sun,
He never heard the blossoming of flowers in spring;
The stars never sang a song for him.

All his life he knew three hues only:
One was the hue of the earth
That he could not take to even once.
The other was the hue of the sky
That bore several names But none came easy to him.
The last was the hue of his wife's cheeks
That in modesty never named all his life.

He could compete in eating turnips,
Many a time he won the bet in eating maize,
But himself he got eaten without a bet.

Years of his life like ripe melons
Were as such eation away in full.
Like milk milched fresh
His goodness was gulped with relish,
The awareness never dawned on him
How prosperous was he in health,

The instinct to survive in the world
Pursued him relentless like the biting bee;
Like a statue he stood
That called for no celebration.

The way from his thatched house
Still leads to the well,
In his foot print lost
Under millions of others,
Laughs yet the wound of the thorn,
Laughs. yet the wound of the thorn.

Translated by Tejwant Singh Gill