This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Mihir Vatsa Poem
Pine
Rajadera, Jharkhand

Like romantics who planted shadows by the river,  
in the current, I pick stones to take home.  
The tree too was a sentiment, noun to verb,
grammar mutating between the banks.
Behind water, you inspected ruins.
Beyond forest, I imagined my fall. We were so fallen –
since dawn, the car was tumbling across
the terrain, but the sun was tight, the water
magic in isolation. I imagined longing in its colour.
Listen, do anything but do not doubt the pining.
The trees watched me in the stream, an apparition
out of nowhere, and offered their limbs.
It’s only in the plateau that needles feel soft,
home vague beyond foundation, brickwork.
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