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Poetry

Highway

By Malathi Maithri
Translated from Tamil by Lakshmi Holmström

Along the highways
of a refugee’s life
snapshots of childhood memories
hang:
hedges overspread with field bean
thick with honeybees,
a courtyard filled with goat droppings,
the shade of a portia-tree,
school children under a neem-tree,
a pond swarming with buffaloes
woods echoing with the koel’s song
the sea-shore where sea-birds call.

The highways carry us along
to yet other highways.

 

© 2011 Malathi Maitri. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2015 by Lakshmi Holmström. All rights reserved.

English

Along the highways
of a refugee’s life
snapshots of childhood memories
hang:
hedges overspread with field bean
thick with honeybees,
a courtyard filled with goat droppings,
the shade of a portia-tree,
school children under a neem-tree,
a pond swarming with buffaloes
woods echoing with the koel’s song
the sea-shore where sea-birds call.

The highways carry us along
to yet other highways.

 

© 2011 Malathi Maitri. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2015 by Lakshmi Holmström. All rights reserved.

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