She is the story of a trail
By a Japan-built road
After it lumbers uphill from the plains
And touches the village up in the mountains
At the moment
She is looking for a different past
In a grove of snakeroot
Growing on a half-worn slipper
Left behind by a strange traveler
Or on the last footstep he left.
Moved to pity by my poverty
Shed a riverful of tears.
I, on my part,
Built a barrage to stop the tears
And sold them off.
When each single day
You swallow the grief-conches of completeness
And bring home for me
A surge full of tasted berries of hope
From unknown sources
I feel you are Sabari and I your Ram
Arraying all the tiny and false consolations of my near ones
I find myself searching ardently for you
On your banks
I am Sabari, and you, my Ram!
[Anil Khatiwada (b. 1995) is a Nepali poet from Sindhuli. A student of Information Technology by training, his poems have been collected in Ujyaloka Maliharu, a joint collection of young Nepali poets.]