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Uma Asopa

Flying Bamboo

In my fatherís old house
in the other town,
there was a compound
squared by walls
in all four directions.

The east allowed the sun
to fall on to the west;
winds came whistling in
through a conduit
from south to north.

We had planted a bamboo tree
right in the middle
to harness winds, and
mellow the sun.
It grew beyond the house

in leaps and bounds
feeding on my motherís singing
every morning --
catching up with sounds
and the poignant words.

Its old shoots steadied on earth
like mature matrons;
the new ones were restless --
always shaking
like indignant perverts.

I feared if they grew above
the roof, they would fly --
their long, spiny leaves
hanging from tapering shoots
like fledglings without wings.

But I liked their spirit --
absorbent, segmented and hollowed.
I took some tender cuttings
trimmed to size, and
potted them as bonsai.

Now they were
not so demanding.
I could still hear old tunes
from their hollows,
and I sang to them sometimes.

I saw to it, they grew up
with a fear of flying.

©2004 by Uma Asopa

Uma Asopa resides in India with her husband. A mother of two daughters, she is a practicing pediatrician. She she has been writing poetry since college days, and loves to write poems on nature and animals. She has been the co-hostess of the poetry page of the South Asian Womenís Forum for the last two years. Her poems have been published on Lily Literary Review, Epiphany Magazine, Poetry Billboard,, and Quill and Ink.

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