The Return

By Hemanga Biswas

The boy didn’t come back

With only two kilograms of thirst inside
The empty bag riddled with bullets
Has been lying near the drain smeared with blood 
At noon.

From the queue for ration
The boy hasn’t returned till today.
The hungry mother with her naive eyes
Keeps on waiting—
He’ll come.

The other day a shower of rain
Washed the public road of blood stains.
In the cow-dung covered graveyard
On each and every thorn of the desolate Modar
Puddles of blood
Bloomed as flowers.
There spring has arrived :

Waves of red flags
Sounds of procession at the distance
She came out.

“He is coming?”

Translated by Uttam Duorah

Click here to read the original Assamese poem.

Hemanga Biswas (b.1912-d.1987) was an Indian poet, singer, composer, author and political activist.

Uttam Duorah, the translator, retired as the HoD, English, Women’s College, Tinsukia and is based in Tinsukia, Assam.

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