Peeling the Onion

Peeling the Onion

Written for Father’s Day by poetryplusuk


Green tomatoes in the neighbour’s yard tinted

red like the cheeks of a maiden.

It was a smaller but ripe one you found,

two miles from garden to garden,

I climbed on your back, Malaria fever burnt, crying

sweet tomatoes, best distraction


Rapeseeds flowers gilded the land

It was there the harrow turned over by startled buffalo,

Blood sprang out your sole into paddy field,

with the reflection of setting sun

dilute and blend.

Standing on the bank I was speechless in admiration,

you plastered the wound with mud and kept on ploughing.


The railway station had grown with the town,

shrinking was my shop, the high street first gone.

You took care of my baby girl and the divorcee’s revenge ,

so I could move on, reshape, engage.


Years since we departed I came to reunion,

to a shocking knowledge of your memory faded

into oblivion.


At the waiting room of a metropolitan I settled

we started to trip around the country

from the south,

a seaside city you visited, to check my first job in a kitchen,

You took a train for two nights, without a seat.


Next stop to the north,  where mountains ridden by

villagers, noble hearts in deprivation,

and my students,  known to you by photos,

Only if I hadn’t returned home to marry the wrong person,

Only if I hadn’t tucked under your wings for protection.

Dad, I would still be a teacher,

Rhyming with pupils and flying kites in summer.


You wave the tickets again, nervously ask

where we are going,

“I know you, ”

you force a smile, fingers at me,

“not by name but,  my girl was with you,

where is she now”


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