All burnished brass chains and smooth old teak
Is Grandpa’s swing with its rhythmic creak.
He’s told me how it was always a part
Of the old village home which is ever in his heart.
That tiled house with high threshholds and low doors
All set in a line, and oil lamps which would shine
A welcome in the dusk.
Groves of mango and banana trees
The fragrance of paddy borne on the breeze-
And these hand-reared animals were his special loves–
His milch cows, his Indian hound Rajah, his fantail doves.
The creak of the wood, the tinkle of the chain
Remind him of riding the bullock cart again,
At cow-dust time –
The cowherds singing in joyful mirth-
As the sun embraced the rich red earth.
The swing still reflects his every mood,
Though its hooks are set now in cement, not wood,
Swiftly it rushes when he’s angry or sad–
Gently it rocks when he’s content and glad.
And silent when he sleeps on its bosom and dreams–
Of long-ago times, and the silver moon-beams
Halo his silver head.