Friendship Fortnight 2020: My Friends

ff20xPoet Arundhathi Subramaniam has shared three of her poems on friendship with us. This is the first one.



My Friends

by Arundhathi Subramaniam

They’re sodden, the lot of them,
leafy, with more than a whiff
of damage,
mottled with history,
dark with grime.

God knows I’ve wanted them different —
less preoccupied, more jaunty,
less handle-with-care,

more airbrushed,
less prone
to impossible dreams, less perishable,

a little more willing
to soak in the sun.

They don’t measure up.
They’re unpunctual.
They turn suddenly tuberous.

But they matter
for their crooked smiles,
their endless distractions,
their sudden pauses —

signs that they know
how green stems twist
and thicken
as they vanish
into the dark,

making their way
through their own sticky vernacular tissues
of mud,

improvising –

[from When God is a Traveller, Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2014]

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