Wednesday Poem

Fruit, As It Is

She who paints
draws jackfruits
on the branches of the jackfruit tree
and on the roots
just as they are,
not fashioned as breasts on the female trunk

Not as split body parts
as openings and wounds
as if two minutes ago
Mother had
cut it in two with a knife
and laid it on the bare floor

Its skin, innards,
flesh, seeds,
the slippery seed-husks
none of them drawn separately

The body fully built in thorns
the burden a woman straightening herself bears.

The sticky stain
that refuses to be erased –
the seed that falls at the foot of the jackfruit tree
that rots and sprouts –
the smell that spreads all around –

Women who do not paint –
women with babies growing inside their bellies –
when they look,
they see fruits
for real,
stuck to the jackfruit tree trunk.

by Anita Thampi
from Azhakillathavayellam
Current Books, Thrissur, © 2010