Teacher Moon


A poem by Madhuri

The moon tried to send me to school.
I said yes,
But I didn’t speak the language.
I was told to forget my past.
I said I couldn’t do that
No matter how I tried.
The moon said
Don’t take it so seriously then.
I said
Let me cry
Every sob my mother never managed
Every gasp my father felt in pain.
The moon said,
I’ll take you to Calcutta
In a sky of muddy rain.

Teacher moon by Madhuri

And then the moon
Put a flower behind her ear
And winked at me
And picked up her fiddle
And played an elven tune.
By that time my heart had come out
Like an avocado pit
And wind could pass through,
And moonbeams.
There were places to go
But I was no conductor.
The moon held my hand
And told me where to disembark
From the train.

There were places to go –
And there she is
A something round as nothing
White as blue snow
Symmetrical but not too perfect
Always in love
With an azurite-malachite boulder
Which sets and rises like an arbor
Above her world of stillness
Long and slow.

Poem and illustration by Madhuri
from the book ‘More about the Moon’

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