The Lamp in the Courtyard

White sheets of snow, covering the roof of the cottage,

Deep snow took in the cottage half submerged,

She lived alone with her son, among great difficulties,

Barely made her living, they saw her never smiling,

She was strong against the race of time,

Her heart was stone, for she led a loveless life,

 

Among the jarring truth of her destiny,

She often slept empty stomach, but that lamp!

That lamp in her courtyard, was always lit,

Never stopped burning, she hung it through a nail,

Winds came, came the rain, seasons came and went,

That lamp in her courtyard was always lit,

 

They found it strange; many came to notch her,

Abducted, assaulted by the cunning people,

They were superstitious of her being a witch,

She was always protecting that lamp,

No one knew the truth and the agony behind,

Dragged her one day, with bamboo sticks along,

 

Beating to kill her was their bloody plan

Her shrills echoed among the White Mountains,

The snow was red with her blood, until her son came,

He shouted trying to protect his mother,

He said, “Stop Stop, my mother will die,

My father is dead; don’t make me an orphan,

 

He said crying, “My mother is not a witch,

She lit the lamp in his remembrance,

He died in a war, but he is alive in our hearts,

The lamp is my father; the flame his soul,                                                

The lamp is my mother’s love which will never die,

If still we are guilty then kill me along my mother,

 

The human devils stood motionless,

The bamboo sticks fell down from their hands,

They the mother half dead with her boy alone,

He ran to her, took her in his lap, the whole night,

The moonlight on the snow, shined with its glory,

They spent the whole night in cold,

A cool breeze blew; her hand fell off to the ground,

 

He stood without a tear, ran towards the cottage,

But that lamp, in the courtyard was lit no more,

His tears froze, his sound lost in the roaring winds,

That day on, the lamp was never lit,

It hung in the courtyard, lifeless without a flame,

Holding a tale of painful love,

Alas! That lamp will never be lit again………..

 

*Monalisa Joshi*

 

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