The Night Mother Cried
In the dark and the rain, amidst the mocking frogs and the relentless night-bugs I prayed for morning light.
we need to pray…’
Father’s words betrayed his gentle voice:
‘Your mother is sick’.
There she was, writhing;
like a snake stamped on the stomach.
I watched – it can’t be true!
But she groaned and twisted
and clasped my hand;
and my helplessness turned to anger
as her body quaked in pain.
Alas! The doctor is sixteen kilometres away,
and there is neither nurse nor medicine here;
even the quack is no more!
And there is no jeep to ferry her
on a treacherous road in this rain.
Alas! We cannot make a call –
network is a mountain-trek away
and it is one-thirty in the night!
'Should I awaken the villagers?
They’d make a bamboo-stretcher
to carry her on their shoulders.
They’d nurse her through the forest
even in the death of a stormy night?’
‘But we can’t – unless she’s dying.’
So we prayed, father and son.
Like two useless stone pillars
we closed our eyes while she bared her tears.
Cut-off from the world, left alone –
this wretched zombie government!
In the dark and the rain,
amidst the mocking frogs
and the relentless night-bugs
I prayed for morning light.