The Banyan Tree


O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond, have you forgotten the little child, like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?
Do you not remember how he sat at the window and wondered at the tangle of your roots that plunged underground?
The women would come to fill their jars in the pond, and your huge black shadow would wriggle on the water like sleep struggling to wake up.
Sunlight danced on the ripples like restless tiny shuttles weaving golden tapestry.
Two ducks swam by the weedy margin above their shadows, and the child would sit still and think.
He longed to be the wind and blow through your rustling branches, to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water, to be a bird and perch on your top-most twig, and to float like those ducks among the weeds and shadows.


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