It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.
When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn
you stretch your arms for your baby in the bed,
I shall say, “Baby is not there!”
– mother, I am going.
I shall become a delicate draught of air
and caress you; and I shall be ripples
in the water when you bathe;
and kiss you and kiss you again.
In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves
you will hear my whisper in your bed,
and my laughter will flash with the lightning
through the open window into your room.
If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night,
I shall sing to you form the stars, “Sleep, mother, sleep.”
On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed,
and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.
I shall become a dream, and through the little opening
of your eyelids I shall slip into the depths of your sleep;
and when you wake up and look round startled,
like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.
When, on the great festival of PUJA,
the neighbours’ children come and play about the house,
I shall melt into the music of the flute
and throb in your heart all day.
Dear suntie will come with your PUJA presents and will ask,
“Where is our baby, sister? Mother you tell her softly,
“He is in the pupils of my eyes,
he is my body and my soul.”
(This poem is from ‘The Crescent Moon’ by Tagore)