A Breeze from My Childhood

Sonnet Mondal

Sonnet Mondal

A Breeze from My Childhood was selected as part of MSU Library Short Edition's call for submissions on the theme of "Home," in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibition "Where We Dwell." Sonnet Mondal is an Indian poet, editor, and author of An Afternoon in my Mind (Copper Coin, 2021), Karmic Chanting (Copper Coin, 2018), and Ink & Line (Dhauli Books, 2018). Founder director of Chair Poetry Evenings - Kolkata's International Poetry Festival, Mondal serves as managing editor of Verseville. His recent works have appeared in the Harper's Bazaar, Virginia Quarterly Review, Words Without Borders, Singing in the Dark anthology (Penguin Random House), Luvina magazine (University of Guadalajara, Mexico), Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Kyoto Journal, Potomac Review, and Honest Ulsterman among others. His works have been translated into Hindi, Bengali, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Slovak, Macedonian, French, Russian, Slovenian, Hungarian, and Arabic.

On an afternoon
during my summer vacation
Mother made me a few small clay figures—
and painted them with a red dye.

The bargain was, I should bathe
in the well and eat my lunch
before I could have those toys.

Placed on the edge of a charpoy
the toys fell off and broke
as I was executing the deal
with rice and curry in my mouth.

From a distance, I felt water splashing
the freshly painted walls of my mind.

The dye was the colour of my thoughts.

After decades now, I wonder
about the exact moment when I grew up
and the exact moment I would grow old.
It's like a glint vanishing through rolling wheels.

I am still at some distance and can see
the walls of my house falling off
like those clay toys Mother made.

I feel an air cooling my shadow.
It must be travelling from the meadows
surrounding my childhood home.

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