At the edge of the palm-fringed fields she stood
Gazing at the flowers in gold array
While the children of the neighbourhood
Romped in the stream, all beginning to play.
Stooping she culled the jasmines bright
As her son, in the cradle gurgling lay
Frantically waving at a fly in flight
While the infant’s bed ‘neath boughs did sway.
Meteor-like the jasmines kept swiftly falling
Flooding the large brown reed basket
As on her lips a gentle smile kept gliding
Her toil fashioning a bejeweled casket.
Blithely onto her head she raised
The floral fruit of the soil
And the market path her feet did grace
With the pride that comes from toil.
Wouldn’t the hands that so well caressed
Jasmines to adorn a bridal braid
Be not with a warm heart blessed
To face life’s storms unafraid?
And what of the son heaven so gifted
To a mother so noble and true
Will his life be prosaic, listless, wilted?
Oh no! But ever sparkling new as dew.
The author is currently the Director of the Arrupe Renewal Centre of the Kohima Region in Meghalaya.