The things they speak of as they can see
I don’t understand, mother, so here I am to learn
Please explain to me, I don’t know these
Except the sweet fragrance of flowers, what is meant by a ‘colour’?
Nevertheless, I can also realize that the petals are delicate
Is there something called a ‘light’?
Mother, why is it that I can’t make sense of these?
I feel the heat during the day more than at night
Is there more of a difference than what I feel?
I can’t figure it out, because, they say, I am still a young boy
If so, I ask grievously, will I understand as I grow up?
Mother, why are you weeping tears?
I can feel them trickling down my arm
Don’t cry, mother, don’t cry, I was just joking
Shall I rush and come back after hitting the boys who lied to me?
Sagara Palansuriya (1908-1961) Sri Lanka
Translated by Indunil Madhusankha
Source: Sri Lanka Poems