To An Unfinished Man

Poem By Ishrat Afreen

This last experience made it clear to me:
despite your talents,
despite being tall and handsome as a man,
you're still a boy
who finds his peace in a girl's tears,
who seeks comfort in the pain that lies
in tattered butterflies
and the broken wings of turtle-doves,
who can destroy all ideals
for the playful pursuit of a whim.
How should I share with you my perception, my sense of things,
how should I take you with me on my mind's journey?
You're small compared to me,
you'll always be,
for I'm also the mother of my ancestors.

[Translated by Professor C M Naim]

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