I let some boats sail away

Once upon a time.

I was eight, we gathered our herd,

Silent builders at work,

Near the neighbourhood big puddle.

Each boat mightier than the previous

Little drops on their mast bogged them.

We let them sail, blew them further.

Winner got the bounty,

Two Éclairs from each fallen captain.

Ronnie won every time,

Master Sailor, we called him.

Little palms, muddy, raw

Red, scratched, patchy

Exchanged the loot.

It was black, for the parents mustn’t know

The kids were gambling.

Gappu always came last,

His boats so accident-prone,

Tumbled, hit a rock, or sometimes never made.

Ronnie gave him some toffees too,

We all ate the Éclairs anyway.

It rained again today,

I didn’t sail boats.

I was eight a long time ago.

I don’t sail boats anymore.

Debasmita Bhowmik

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