My Father Requires Translation
By Atreyee Gupta
I stammer. I hesitate. My father who spoke in complete sentencesrequires translation.“What’d he
say?” I’ve heardso oftenI believe even I cannotunderstand him.
I decipher his pauses,his gestures, in errant tomato tendrilsneedling sloped stakes.I unravel
secrets spooled into the Fuji’s whorled barkof his wherefore and why.
I decode his silences
from fervid morning glorychewing the chain linkperimeter.
He never confined rampant jasmineto scaffolding,never parted pigweed from begonia,beetles
burgledhis persimmon and birds burst his apricot.
Still — he woke at four each morning,fingers scarring soil so roots could write their story.
But, just when I thinkI know his meaning, petioles tangle the plot, grapevines tonguingscarlet
beads to taste their sweetness,bees patriarchal over purple cups,and I lose him againin a dawn of
saplings,confiding seeds waiting eruption.
Atreyee Gupta has been published in numerous venues, such as Apparition Lit, Arc Poetry, Bacopa Literary Review, Fireside, Jaggery, and Solarpunk. Atreyee is the creator of Bespoke Traveler (www.bespoketraveler.com), a digital alcove for curious explorers.