“The Lamentation of a Mother” by Indunil Madhusankha

“Amma, when I come the next time,
prepare me some Welithalapa.”
Saying thus you left for work

But all of a sudden like one of your
most remarkable surprises
You came home deposited in a reddish wooden box,
meritoriously adorned with white coloured flowers

I fanned your face with a handkerchief
just to chase the flies away
And caressed your forehead gently
putting some tufts of hair to the top of the head
You were our only son, the greatest treasure of ours

As you were so catching and handsome a young man
and an influential commander in the Army
We had dreamt of a grand wedding ceremony for you
of sublime calibre
with the accompaniment of music
Yet I heard the smoothing rhythm
of neither the violin nor the piano
except the deafening cacophony of brownish iron horses
that they called a respectable gun salute,
and the lachrymose craws of the participants
I can remember,
unlike the others I didn’t weep or whimper
except at the moment the telephone glided from my hand
hearing the very news!

I curse it,
the horrible death messenger

Huge banners of milky white colour
fluttered in the air
On them in plain black letters
inscribed the cliché, “Anichchāwatha Sankhāra.”

Your coffin submerged slowly in to the grave
I exclaimed
clamouring and wriggling to loosen the clasp
that mitigated against my movement,
you could not be in that gloomy pit all alone
Yet the gathering was deaf

They say that now I am going mentally out
I am neither crazy nor violent
But definitely, so should be those war-mongers

Oh, forgive me, my putha, my golden gem,
for not having made Welithalapa for you.

 

Previously published in Synesthesia Literary Journal (July 8, 2016)

 

Indunil Madhusankha is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Decision Sciences at the Faculty of Business of the University of Moratuwa. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet, and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focusing on the burning issues in contemporary society. Indunil’s works have been featured in many international anthologies, magazines, and journals.

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