the flower discovers the poet

மடல் பெரிது தாழை
           ~ ஒளவையார் 

She was                                                     peripatetic
slung a bag                across the shoulder
A pouch of puffed rice             salted        tempered with pepper 
moistened the old saree
frayed at the shoulder               with sweat
She walked until                                 she couldn’t
identify a single species of tree

to learn anew
                                         which one yielded edible berries
if Pandanus bore flowers
in the rosette                               of spiked leaves   

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