Yamini Pathak

Ghazal for The Children Born Far From Home

to my sons

Gather rotis for stray cows, scatter rice for the ragged crow
I’ve severed you from old ways, this is my sorrow

It takes practice to scoop daal with your fingers, taste spice on the honey
of your hot skin before you swallow, this is my sorrow

Rama scaled the ocean/Bheeshma died pillowed on a bed of arrows
Their ghosts in your marrow unstirring, this is my sorrow

In the bazaar you petted unblemished baby goats, you didn’t know
they were meant for slaughter, this is my sorrow

Exiled from a language where yesterday also means tomorrow
You wander thirsty with no tongues, this is my sorrow

I will be your compass, my bones are yours to borrow
My body your only true country, this is my sorrow


Yamini Pathak is a former software engineer turned poet and freelance writer. She was born and raised in India and now lives in New Jersey. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in WaxwingThe Kenyon Review blog, RattleJaggery, and elsewhere. She writes a monthly art column for The Hindu newspaper’s Young World publication. Yamini received much of her writing education at VONA/Voices (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation), Community of Writers, and workshops run by The Speakeasy Project and Winter Tangerine journal.