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The Green Flag

by Sonali Sharma
(Dehradun, India)

The nutrified meadowland thrives in indebtedness
To the untainted streamlet awakening close by
Splattering pellucid blobs on scattered chunks of wood
And unfolding the buried legend
Of sick-making penury.

Where sighs become the traditional cords
Entwining panic, abandonment, and starvation
The circle of yearning swallows judgement
Growing shadowy and ill-lit
Leaving behind the lamentation of unseen golden natural light.

An unripe mind unaware of the integers
Pants near the closest part of the domestic fire
Until the striking sooty circles steal away the fairness of his eyes
Wiping his miniature hands with ragged inky fabric
Erases the creases on fingers
One learns to count the necessities of life.

The insolent filth clings to his flawed feet
As he chooses to advance towards the watercourse
To fetch to his habitation
The largesse of Nature
That doesn’t have an appetite for opulence.

A green leaf in one hand and a pencil-thin stick in another
He keeps aside the sun-baked earthen pot
To pluck the exhilarating moments of childhood from the contemporary
The kind of jubilation that the human soul whispers.

The elfin anthill he last saw
Promises the painstaking efforts of the slaved ants
Oblivious to their size and existence
Garner with optimism and durability
To overcome the humiliating seasons.

The semi-darkness recognizes his back
The roof of the shack appears liberated
As he steps in the middle of the questioning blackness
With a satiating, victorious flag
Green and Glorified.


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