You who stand beneath me,
Look up at me for a while -
While you smell, breath in deep
The fragrance of my little flowers.
Did it hurt when the flower fell
On your head, my humble gift,
Here, I bend a branch of mine,
Hold, pluck the succulent fruit
For your child, a present from me.
Lean on to me, though my skin is rough,
But feel my heart that throbs for you
My veins full of the blood of love.
Here, I fan you with my leaves,
Lest you feel tired in the heat.
Did it hurt when you cut
Chopped off the branches
And sawed off the trunk
Did it pain when in vain
Pulling at my roots with so much strain?
I miss them, Sir,
The birds who nested in my hole,
The songs they sang for my soul.
The squirrels who ran, tickling my heart
Your child who played beneath my shade.
Forgive me Sir, I am just a tree
Fated to die, faithful to men.
When in the night, freezing cold,
As to embers my body burns,
They glow in love, for you alone
And your child, warm, asleep -
Think of me – lest your heart turn to stone.
********* Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 01.05.2009