For a child who grew up, went away, and came back home

Oakla | for S
you texted me the other day
something, that reminded me
of Oakla
who used to stand, here
in this garden where we are

he stood tall, and wide,
just like a big oak tree
in this garden, that was his,
in front of our window that opens
into the street

he was here when we were young
and small, when we needed
all three of our arms
just to encircle
our big oak tree

in spring we watched new leaves bud
as we woke from our slumber.
from the summer sun we escaped
under Oakla’s shadow
always in our garden

autumn came and we hung upside down
like batman on the low branches.
Oakey let us.
winter fell and we stared
quietly out the window.

He aged.
slowly and surely till one day
he was taken away and all was left
a short stump
in the middle of the garden.

we stood on it
like Greek philosophers orating,
declaring our dreams as Oakla
held us up
even only ten inches

now the stump too is gone
leaving a smooth pristine lawn
full of beautiful flowers
but we walk around still
this imaginary centre

as I now stand at the window
I can see the gate and road beyond
but my heart still feels 
the presence of Oakla
who is always here with us all.

Sometimes what has been written in verse should be left to explain itself. But sometimes there is much more that I wished to convey.

Evidently this was inspired by S. So I had this imaginary day-dream feeling, a story of an imaginary childhood and an old oak tree. This child grew up in a house with a little garden, as grandparents’ ought to be. Younger generations move out into apartments in the city. The garden has this nice reassuring oak tree. The personified tree that has accompanied the kids as they grew up, joined them in their garden games, listened to their secrets, their summer follies.
I wrote ‘three of our arms’. Yeah its funny. I think I meant three pairs of arms. But nvm.
‘Oakla let us’ is one of my fave parts. Could not decide between Oakla and Oakey. Oakey cute, but too cute. But portrays a kid naming.
‘Held us up / even only ten inches’ is another fave line. The grandparent which always supported, even when old and disabled. Or even when gone.

And now the garden is still beautiful, in a different way.
Things move on. Now we see the future, the outside world beckons. The warm invisble presence and memory remains.
Written from the viewpoint of a child who grew up, went out, got married, is now showing/telling the wife/husband abt what used to be there.

Yup that’s abt it. I couldn’t put all that in to avoid being long winded and coz of artistic restrictions. 🙂


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