My Father’s Jamun Tree By Sufia Khatoon

My gardener exerts that I uproot
my father’s jamun* tree.
It has failed to yield fruits this year—
It has failed to conform.

My father finds it hard
to feel anything at all.

I should part with it—
without the promise of
jamuni* flowers.
Without a purpose
it is futile to love it.

In the heated afternoon
I hold its naked roots
and just let it be.

I can’t desire it to ever learn
to hate and survive.
I can’t desire it to not ever
feel the feelings of love.

I assume trees don’t have
a heartbeat or a voice—
it isn’t free to be more
than my father’s jamun tree.

*jamun – Java plum, Jamuni – purple java flowers

Receiver of The Kavi Salam Award 2018, Sufia Khatoon is a multi-lingual performance poet, editor, translator, artist and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. Her poems and short stories have been published in various national and international anthologies of repute. “Death in the Holy Month” is her debut book of poems. She is the Co-Founder of Rhythm Divine Poets community, Kolkata. She is a PR,Media and Event curator by profession.