Poetry 2017 Longlist, Mannika Solanki

You and I, Beneath the Banyan Tree

Mannika Solanki

On the eve of October twenty-three,
You and I sat under a Banyan tree.
You and I had walked together,
You and I had talked forever.
With you I was walking long, in glee,
And long you were walking with me.
With us the stars were walking,
And the moon followed us, stalking.
The birds they went back to their nest,
But the owls, that night, did not rest.
All night they hooted strong and long,
For us they sang a secret love-song.
The nightingale came and set the tone,
For a love that yet seemed forlorn.
The Rajnigandha, it filled our souls,
And the Anar felt ripe and whole.
The dirt was soft, dark and moist,
The Banyan tree in it stood poised.
You and I, we looked in each-other’s eyes,
Together then we looked at it, surmised.
You and I both wanted to sit beneath,
You and I both never wanted to leave.
And so, on the eve of October twenty-three,
You and I sat beneath a Banyan tree.

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