a poem by Swayam Sampurna, India

Spreading its arms towards the sky
Decked in dark green finery
Stands a mighty patriarch;
A century-old mango tree.
Silent witness of history.

Branches covered in scaly bark, laden
With fruit in ranging hues of golden
Emitting a sweet scent, very persistent,
Coupled with luscious curves,
Luring schoolboys to pleasures forbidden.

Shelter to many, pit-stop for some
Ants scurry along, getting work done
A cuckoo sings, enamoured
Of his own magical voice
Shrieks match his notes, the crows have come.

Wild parrots whirling from bough to bough
Pecking at fruit, here now, there now
A woodpecker hammers away at the trunk,
Knock-knock, tock-tock, the splinters fly
The sparrow builds her nest, her mate in tow.

A dog and a cow lie in its shade; sleepy,
Swishing off the stray fly or flea,
A friendly silence between them
Unaware of the benevolent smile
Of the towering mango tree.

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