Monday, November 7, 2016

Sumita Dutta writes

The Tadpoles Didn’t See 

The surface rippled, three pairs of feet plopped in 

And the tadpoles scurried to hide in caverns. 
Sighs of relief brushed over the tiny rock pool 
As cool water soothed sore feet. 
The tadpoles gambolled again, silence drawing them out; 
They didn’t see the awestruck faces watch the raincloud’s approach.

Feet dashed out of the pool, flashed wet into shoes, 

Humping backpacks they sprinted down the hill. 
The tadpoles darted to hide, they didn’t see 
The slanting column of rain join Earth to bulbous cloud. 
When fat droplets hammered down, bullets shredding the pond, 
They shivered with fright; 
They didn’t hear the girls whoop with delight. 

They didn’t see the girls race each other

Leaving behind joyous laughter echoing on the hill sides. 
Sliding on wet rock, leaping thorny scrub, splashing through churned mud, 
The girls scrambled to outrun rain approaching head-on. 
Hah! Stinging necks, arms, exposed skin, smacking on heads, walloping clothes, 
Running in rivulets down sun browned limbs; 
The rain swooped in victorious. 

The tadpoles didn't see 

The girls tear across a farmer’s fallow field, 
Panting giggles lost in fiercely tattooing rain, 
Until brought short by a broad deep trench. 
The tadpoles didn’t see 
The flash flood roiling down the hilly end 
In frothing bubbles and fuming spume, 
Heavy water gushing to fill the gorge. 
The tadpoles didn't see 
Two girls jump in, dart across and climb to safety; 
They called the third to hurry, 
But she hesitated a bit too long.

The tadpoles didn’t see 

The third jump in at last, 
The rushing water now an angry river 
Just a few feet away from swamping her. 
The tadpoles didn’t see 
The fear filled eyes,  
Or hear the scream of the girls safe on the bank: 
‘Mahe! Get out of there!’ 
The tadpoles didn’t see 
Mahe nimbly climb on to a root spanning the gully, 
And balance limbs braced apart 
As the water gurgled past inches beneath.  
The tadpoles didn’t see; 
Only those girls are blessed with that memory. 

 ‘Flash Flood’ 1997
Flash Flood -- Michael Taylor

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