We huddle around Ma as

our gabled tin-roofs vibrate

during round-moon nights,

when bee-hives drip like wasted howling desires

of an elephant tethered to the banyan tree trunk.

Trailing his finger through the map,

my brother who thought maps

are exact replicas of the world,

assures us: father lives just half-a-finger away.

Sometimes we sprinkle charmed mustard seeds

and wish they won’t sprout foliage.

During evenings of fish-fry aroma,

our wooden doors moan creak sigh.

During full-moon nights, honey coloured,

doors don’t take permissions before

flinging themselves open

like secrets.

Aruni Kashyap is the author of the poetry collection Grandma-lullabies, forthcoming from Sahitya Akademi.

Write to lounge@livemint.com

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