Destitute by Manohari

Destitute by Manohari

I am a three – day refugee
successful in saving my life;
a poem wells within it.
Those who saw my house say
its nose is broken
I understand
that the flower plants I nurtured
have been eaten by cows
I own no sky
Even the air I breathe
belongs to someone else
Having lost ninety thousand stars
and the sky
and you
How can I write poetry?
Having lost my butterfly
and the lizard that dwells
in a cranny of my bed
how can I write poetry, o moon!

Translated from Tamil by S. Pathmanaban, in an anthology of Tamil Sri Lankan poetry, found online.

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