My Mother

this unfamiliar tree bearing fruit over here
it's my mother

mango and rose-apple, pomegranate, pear
or maybe star-apple, hogplum too
guava, pomelo, kamranga
so much pain and love, sacrifice and patience

as if all the pronouns of the world
the adjectives, nouns, and prepositions
of a village too, a field, a map with no form

are my mother's other names
expelled from heaven
crossing timidly over to the underworld

—translated by Carolyn B. Brown