Star of the Motherland

I guess you never thought of it as a downtrodden hovel.
Who thinks of their mother that way?
I remember, the slime, the scum, the gutwrenching poverty,
despair in deadpan faces, the sunken cheeks
of the toothless.

Your memoirs comprise a kaleidoscope of colour, jungle lushness,
the spice of temptation, saffron robes,
and jewelled mandalas.

Yet you knew there was more, didn't you?
You sailed forth to worlds unknown.
Then you returned to your mother,
shining bright as a peridot
in the nighttime desert.
Cherished, precious, your face etched like a sculpture,
a tapestry,
in the minds of all that bear witness.

Remember I know you, and within your godly eyes
I see the bruised clouds of Bangalore,
lying in wait, ready to flood in forbidden places.
And then you float away, like a lotus flower riding the ocean crest,
deaf to the piercing caw that arises
each time you abandon your mother.