April 14, 2021

To Pa Mawng Lian

By: Van Biak Thang

Down the road near my little cottage,
At about the length of a hamster’s tail,
There lived a widow in a village
With her loved son, mentally fragile.

His mother, a septuagenarian,
Faint and feeble but warm and cordial,
Tilled, hoed and sowed for her son, Mawng Lian,
From dawn to dusk, dirty yet manual.

Mawng Lian, called Pa Mawng, in his twenties,
Known to each one as a jolly face,
Half adult, talked to himself in peace,
And laughed to a single thing in space

In times of Christmas, New Year, weddings,
Services and social gatherings,
Like a tadpole in shallow water,
He’s a Mr. Bean to each villager.

So much He loved sweets and jaggery,
So much he treasured new finery,
Liked hopping and dancing in rejoice,
And would help anyone without choice.

Knowing that his mom’s in her dotage,
Again he volunteered to carry,
In fear of orders and penalty;
That was his last page in the village.

Eyes shed no tears upon this vile face;
Hearts inhume its grief under its roof;
Still lies sorrow awake in its hoof.
But his name is always at his place.


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