With red hibiscus flowers plucked on the way
there were days when we friends
reached school before anyone’s trace;
thick plaits of two tied with white ribbons
used to sway as we rushed there
in ironed uniform of blue and white

polished our classroom’s blackboard
using feathery petals of red
erasing whitish scars
hewed by blunt chalk pieces

pitch blackness that the board grasped
swashed mizzles on our innocent hearts

little lanterns of our eyes
flared brightly
hearing teacher’s footsteps
how we waited to hear her words of praise
seeing the waxed blackboard looking new

~ the moments where we buried
imperfections in blackness
to scribble anew …

© 2021 Kamala Ajith
Photo cc-by-nc-nd GPE/Deepa Srikantaiah, 2012