Secrets and dreams
On lazy summer afternoons
When the big household snored
Inside the closed rooms
A little girl would slip out
Unnoticed and through a long
Passage across the open courtyard
And unused back garden enter
Alice-like to meet her secret friends.
Perched high on the Margo tree
Looking out at the dusty and twisting lanes
Of a north Indian semi-urban village
Off the NH---15,
The pre-teen, motherless, would open
A magical realm by gently parting
The screen of twigs and leaves and talk to
Her assorted friends, tiny, supple and winged.
The faeries and elves would all mix
In that dream-region and be her daily
Friends, unmindful of the hot winds.
Any intruder in the garden and the scene
Would fold back in a second and the girl
Hiding behind the boughs green would
Hardly breathe to foil any intended detection
By the female elders or old servants.
Once the threat was gone from that overgrown lot,
She resumed her journey into a mysterious land
Only kids can so wonderfully perform
Despite the bleakness around
And of such strange and secret travels
Adults have no time or inkling.
Author-bio:Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma is a widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. He has already published three collections of poetry, one collection of short fiction, one novel and co-edited five books so far. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. Recently his poems were published in theUN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree-2015.