Saturday, November 17, 2018

Pramila Khadun writes

I threw that gun in the lake

As a baby, he had a stagnant mirth
In his eyes.
Slowly, the mirth was effaced
By the tears of time.
Left to himself to grow as a child,
Beaten and battered by a stepfather,
Neglected by a careless mother,
Naive innocence crumpled and crushed
By the whips and lashes of time,
The seeds of bitterness
Started sprouting in the soft soils
Of his heart.

He sighed forlornly a tangled mesh, as a mouse does.
He looked for a friend with a rare plumage
But could not find any on whose shoulder
He could lay his troubled and tired head.
At home, it was always a fish platter for two,
Never three,
and in school, a packed lunch
Of lab created food.
Self-consumed in his sorrows,
He wished he were a pine warbler,
Or a weeping jackal or a scavenging seagull.

He saw in people diseased and decayed
Fruits clinging to frail branches,
Adulthood forced upon childhood
And old age, a deep regret.

One evening, he is asked to clean
His stepfather’s gun.
He knows how to use it
And he says to himself,
‘ I could shoot you.’
He feels the surges of anger,
His heartbeat increases
And the color of his room
Suddenly becomes red—
The color of anger,
The color of blood.

He runs out of the house
Leaving the father safe
And goes by the lake.
He throws the gun in the water
And watches the ripples
While clouds, soft as cotton balls
Send a lovely drizzle on him.
‘Thou shalt not kill
However bitter is life’s pill.
Life was never always dark for anyone
For all the time,
Nor was it bright for all
For all the time,’
Gently said a soft voice.

He goes home,
Sees the anger in the eyes of his parents.
‘Where’s my gun?’ roars the father.
‘Answer immediately,’ adds the mother.
He kneels down in front of them
And in a soft voice says,
‘I threw that gun in the lake.
I want love and peace in my home Ma and Pa.’

The parents kiss the child.
A wind of change blows
And a sea of love flows.
"water gun (version one)" - Oil on canvas - 19"x52" 2006
water gun (version one) -- Benjamin Anderson

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