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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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River

 

 

When I behold this river

I am both cross

and sympathetic.

 

In the flood last year

my parents were lost to the same river

and they were subsumed in it;

I, the ill-fated one, survived

being away to my maternal home in the other village.

 

Since then, I have haunted its banks

stared vacantly at the river

and listened to the sounds—

like Mother’s, when water strikes water

like Father’s, when  water strikes a rock

When water washes off a stone

I feel, it’s Mother wiping sweats from Father’s forehead

and the white foam therein

is to me the smiles they displayed.

 

I see my dreams and future

flow seaward in the river

and stare in loss

 

When I behold this river

I am both cross

and sympathetic.

                                   

—Bhisma Upreti

(Translated from Nepali by Mahesh Poudyal)