How powerful the myth
of return that I want to resist
its hold on my tongue. I have
devoted many years to learning

French, Spanish and Portugese
music, now what shall I do, a fifty
year-old man sitting on a geyser
like the Cheshire Cat his branch

or Lampantung the windowsill
laughing over Lewis Carroll
as he wrote to Alice. Shall I
just nod, genuflect, accept

inspiration in the mother tongue
and say gone are the days
when fancy free I could pretend
to love in Spanish or Swahili?

I must now make amends, even
study Tamil for the old aunt whom
I will never again see, who counselled
me in Atchuvelli while serving me

toddy. She may have known some
Portugese. Ceylon was indeed
a marriage hall where continents
could meet and court. Yet why

complicate life traced in tongues
no longer primary, part of the legacy
certainly but not languages
of choice facing assassin or god.

Indran Amirthanayagam, January 10, 2011

(Imagen tomada de Internet / Derechos reservados por el autor)