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Amarjit Chandan, from Sonata for Four Hands

Mother Language

My mother language
is secure as a womb
Warm as my mother's lap
To which I daily cling
In fear of my being
And then
The worrying yesterdays
The anxious tomorrows
Recede from me.

My mother language
Sucked at mother's breast
I learnt to write
As father held
My small, nervous hand
Beginning my endless friendship
With paper, ink and pen.

I find the shade
Of fragrant flowering mango trees
In my mother language.
I see my woman's body
Gleam and glow
I hear the blood throb
Through her veins
In my mother language.

In my mother language
My forefathers sleep
Dreaming of me awake.

In my mother language
Mirzas and Heers invoke God
In my mother language
Angels sing the Gurus' hymns.

All lives and dies
In my mother language.