The Creative Section (Vol. 5, No. 1) is on its way and will be published by the end of May, 2024.

A PHOTOGRAPH IN THE WOODS

 


A PHOTOGRAPH IN THE WOODS

-         Gopikrishnan Kottoor (India)

 

When I locked my house

Preparing for a stroll,

I paused and told myself,

Let me take the other

Road today. The road

Less taken.

 

All about me

Lay the auburn leaves that fell,

As more and more kept falling.

That afternoon I remember

Was all leaf-rain.

 

Bathed in falling leaves

I walked on

Until I came upon an old oak tree.

 

All around me

The small acorns fell

Knocking on their tiny dead clown-heads

As though they meant

The fall of life-

And all that was there left

Was a dry weeping.

 

I took a deep breath,

The sun, a wet afternoon bird among the tall branches,

And was about to leave

When below,

Among the roots that had grown thick

Among a mound of fallen oak leaves

 

I saw a smile.

 

Soon a breeze blew uncovering the leaves

And there she was-

Almost a Madonna in that photo frame

One perhaps wonderful for someone

A long time ago;

The polka dots upon her youthful dress still innumerable

Where the ants moved all over

In endless directions.

 

It was such a smile

In which I too mirrored upon the dusty glass,

Her face a caked beauty

Where birthday candles would no more burn;

A treasure

None needed anymore

To press close to the heart

Or pin flowers

By a beloved home door;

 

And here,

 

By blowing leaf, rain, and winter

In stippled darkness

Of the rolling thunder

Among the rustling oak leaves,

Was life’s true home.

 

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