(13 January 1938 - / Kolkata / British India)

The Jungle Story

My exile is over, mother,
No more living in the jungle for me
Come, mother, underneath this matted beard
Feed the familiar cheeks of your child
Open up your breasts, mother, and watch how
The seven streams of milk
Gush towards my parched tongue

Look at these feet, mother, the tiny feet
Where your golden bells had jingled
Look at this arm
Upon which you had tied your talisman
When I was born
Now look at this chest where you had planted
The sapling of a heart
In a soft green stretch of sun
In the hidden mesh of this dark jungle,
Impenetrable,
Has grown a hungry tree

With toothy leaves and sharp claws
And fierce flowers
It chews on other hearts
A fine flesh-eater

My time in the jungle is over, mother,
Now the jungle lives in me.

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