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from the April 2015 issue


The little one laughs innocently,
without blinking at the raised hand.
Then one day she feels the pain
caused by the same raised hand
and her eyes tremble.

Fear depends on the mind;
the mind depends on experience.

At one time
the earth’s tremors
drove us out of closed doors,
out into the open.
The sky our only roof,
we ate, we slept.

The once quaking earth
is now an arena for rioters,
within our own cages,
our doors never opening
to anyone’s cry,
each with her own identity,

we fear our neighbors;
we make them fear us

© Krishangini. Translation  © 2015 by Padma Narayanan and Subashree Krishnaswamy. All rights reserved. 

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