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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

"Mawbynna" by Esther Syiem


You appear

to have withstood

time’s duress

as you watch

over a world

of plastic clutter.


Your sense of time

is forbidding,

but you keep intact

our self respect.

You have shut yourself

in an aura

that is yours alone.


Your changelessness

in flux

is the only surety

against the inquisition

that assails you.


You are the keeper

of our past.

Vertical guardians

overseeing horizontal quiet -

wayside offerings,

arrested in a moment,

away from passing history.


Your commodity

is your soul

held still, in the

imbroglio of time,

as you provide

shelter and rest

for wayfarers,

drawn by your etchings

in their souls.



This poem appears in Oral Scriptings: Poems by Esther Syiem (2005) published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata. Dr. Esther Syiem is a Professor in the Department of English, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong.

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