(1943 / Baitpur, Bagerhat / Bangladesh)

Kirtinasha - A

At the river's edge ambushing
shadows huddle in the mud
rasping breaths echo in the dusk
it's only evening, not doomsday

Mutterings boil up and burst
over the land, grumblings gather
and scatter—it's not
the flood, only the turning tide

The air cracks, then shatters
ayai, it's the end—the wind shrieks
and whips the night—it's only
the riverbank plunging, not the deluge

Surging spurting spilling
it's only water, not poison.

[Translated from Bangla by Carolyn Brown]

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