The shadow of the giant palm flickers through the rubber trees
The stream falls weeping by the bamboo clump
The visage of that darkness now smothering father’s grave- stone
Drifts towards me, terrifies me.
The shirt I hung to dry beside the well that’s near the grave
I forgot to bring it in this afternoon
Is it still out there, hanging by the well?
Go Brumpi, run and fetch it for me soon
Only this morning I bathed at that well by the shade of the
But I can’t think now how it looked by the light of day.
The dark black dark, armed with quills from the kitul palm
Comes with the bamboo to swallow me.
The same blackness that blurred the stone by the well
Now creeps up on the porch
Stone-throwing poltergeist dark that blacked the road
It comes — here – by my hand!
I cannot stir. I dare not turn.
Only the dark, what else? But I fear it
Sister, little sister, go strike a match quick
Light the lamp in the living room.
Translated by Ranjini Obeyesekere