The Unwritten Sequence
E. V. Ramakrishnan
Reader, this is the story of a sequence
I very much wanted to write:
An unwed mother
gives birth to twins:
a precocious child
who grows up to be a leader of people
and a mentally retarded one given to wandering naked.
The mother grieves for
the gifted and cares for the dimwitted.
Her agony is great but the whole village stands by her.
The weaver, the farmer,
the healer, the barber, the mason
and the carpenter were to be portrayed in detail.
There is also a policeman
who goes in search of the absconding
leader and returns with his missing brother.
Finally, and this was to be the climax,
the leader is killed in what looks like
a fake encounter.
At the burial,
The dimwitted brother wears a shirt
for the first time in his life.
I could never complete the sequence.
Perhaps what I knew of the weaver,
the farmer, the healer, the barber,
the mason and the carpenter was not
adequate or what I knew of the police-
man exceeded the needs of the poem.
I could never decide whether I was with
the precocious and the gifted
or with the dimwitted and the lost.
from: Terms of Seeing: New and Selected Poems;
Konark Publishers, New Delhi, 2006