Palm leaves of childhood

When I was very small indeed,
And Joe and Fred were six-year giants,
My father, they and I, with soil
Did mix farm-yard manure.
In this we planted coconuts,
Naming them by brothers’ names.
The palm grew faster far than I,
And soon, ere I could grow a Man,
They, flowering, reached their goal!
Like the ear-rings that my sister wore
Came the tender golden flowers.
I watched them grow from gold to green;
The nut as large as Tata’s head.
I craved the milk I knew they bore.
I listened to the whispering leaves,
When night winds did wake.
They haunt me still in work and play:
Those whispering leaves behind the silt
On the cabin wall of childhood’s
Dreaming and becoming.


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