Crisscross marks of the broom
Made of coconut leaf-bristles fill the tidied front yard
Bursting in laughter and fragrance
Stands the Ilanji tree at the margin of the yard
Clean after bath black kids wait
On the verandah looking for a come back
Clean kitchen pots and vessels bask in evening light
Along with spatulas made of coconut shells
Such small changes are seen everywhere you see
The home you left for work is not the one you enter after work
The children are also changed as you come back
With the wage of paddy in the corner folding of loincloth
Who cleaned and kept the littered house like this?
Who made the little dirty ones with running nose
Into smiling flowers with fragrance?
Yes, so many alphabets are seen
In thier eyes.
Translated from Malayalm by Ajay Sekher
In this short and remarkable poem M R Renukumar a leading dalit poet in Malayalam today is rewriting Poykayil Appachan the early 20th century dalit social reformer and poet in an optimistic way. Renukumar lives and writes in Kottayam, Kerala and he could be reached at: +91 9446081189.