What She Said -

Kalittokai 115

" Friend,
like someone who gets drunk secretly
on hard liquor
till his body begins to ooze with it,
and goes on to brag shamelessly
till listeners shiver,
and then gets caught
with the stolen liquor in his hand,

I too got caught
with my secret in my hands:

my goatherd lover's
string of jasmine
that I'd twined in my hair
fell before my foster-mother
as she loosened my hair
to smear it with butter,

and embarrassed her
before Father, Mother,
and others in the house.

And she
didn't ask a thing about it,
or get angry,
but like someone
shaking off a live coal
she shook it off
and moved into the backyard.

Then I
dried my hair perfumed with sandal,
knotted it,
and picking up the end
of my blue flower-border dress
that comes down to the floor
I tiptoed in fear
and hid
in the thick of the forest. "

" O you got scared because of that?
No fears. Even as you wore
your young man's garlands,
they too have conspired
to give you to him.

They'll pour soft sand
in the wide yard,
put curtains all around,
and make a wedding there
very soon.
Not only all day today,
but all night yesterday,
we've been scheming
to do just that. "
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