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THE LEMON TREE YOU DIDN'T SEE GROW, by Vinita Agrawal.
The rasp of lime leaves on limp summer air
Annelids at work somewhere around the roots
Growing in a petrol drum I borrowed from reluctant neighbors
In return for a promise of the first harvest of sunny yellow lemons
You and I, planted the sapling five years ago on a blissful rainy day
Thwacked a brack of cow dung and dry fish around its tender form
Panicked when scurf appeared on its branches a year later
Rejoiced when blossoms and then green bumps of fruit manifested, the next
Meanwhile you left home, airborne like a winged fruit
Flew abroad, a nervous petrel hunting for a job
Your absence drew modal lines across my heart
The lemon tree missed you not witnessing its concert of fruition
It bore lemons in silence, unwatched, unspoken
Doing what it was supposed to do, year after year
Lonely like the human race and just as unguided.
It grew weary.
This year around I have packed the lemons for you
Please receive the packet well, Son.
For while you were courting Sycamores and Buttonwood
Thumbing clover and maple, the lemon tree here was pining for you.
Vinita is a an award winning poet from Mumbai. Her poems have been published in Asiancha, Raedleaf Poetry , Wordweavers, OpenRoad Review, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Spark, Mandala and many other journals. She is the author of Words Not Spoken - an anthology of poems published by Sampark/Brown Critique in November 2013. She can be reached at www.vinitawords.com
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