The House of My Childhood

In honor of Vikram Smavat New Year, we present this work by one of modern India’s most evocative poets.

10-25 Chitre
Dilip Chitre
1938 – 2009


The house of my childhood stood empty
On a grey hill
All its furniture gone
Except my grandmother’s grindstone
And the brass figurines of her gods

After the death of all birds
Bird-cries still fill the mind
After the city’s erasure
A blur still peoples the air
In the colourless crack that comes before morning
In a place where nobody can sing
Words distribute their silence
Among intricately clustered glyphs

My grandmother’s voice shivers on a bare branch
I toddle around the empty house
Spring and summer are both gone
Leaving an elderly infant
To explore the rooms of age

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