Career

Written by: T Wignesan

         for Nachiketas
                                              
 Tether the cow to the post of your patience
                                                               and wait
First make ready the field in which you choose to let her loose
There where no lilacs grow
        nor lotuses in the pond of your astrological gaze
 
If you haven't enough cut-grass in the loft
Make sure your sickle doesn't rake through touch-me-nots and lallang
 
You may only prepare the pasturing ground
You cannot make your cow browse in it
      all her dogged years
                               her udder bitten
                                  fangs sunk in stealth
                                     milk mixed with venom
                                         milched in terror
       suckling in fear
 
 
You may not clear your fields
                                            of
      toads
             snails
                    snakes
   or                       centipedes
 
They are the legitimate heirs of the land
                                                          where
     you plan to graze your cow
You may only tend to her when she comes home
                                              if she comes
                   by her own will
   acknowledging not a master
            but an inherited contract
                                                thus
   you may milk her but at this appointed hour
           with this can
                             two-spans-full
       if you give her fresh grass and barley
                                                      before she goes
'cause she is bespoken to patience
 
┬ęT.Wignesan 1992
April 18, 1992
[from the collection : back to background material, 1993]