– By W. P. Ruwani Wanniarrhchi (Grade 10)
Is My Son Also Sleeping under the Mara Tree?
My little son,
I can wait
Till I am tired, seated at the doorstep of the house
Inside the lonely mind,
Kiri kokku (white storks) are crying
Come back home again,
My little son
It is to erase the tears of the leaking roof
Of the wattle and daub home from which my son flew
To the field of letters
Who there, aney (Oh, my goodness), told my son
To break mahamera (heaven’s) walls?
In the midst of fires,
The irony I do not feel in the world
Of the milk pot that moved in the river
Is my son also sleeping
Under the mara tree?
Warm tears fill both my eyes
Now, son, who am I to feed
The warm rice cooked on the three cooking stones?
Come, even in a dream,
And wave your hand
I still have more tears in my eyes
“Is My Son Sleeping under the Mara Tree?” is one of the poems from a collection of 83 Sinhalese poems by children of grade 3 – 12 from the anthology Kadulu Mathakayen Obbata (Beyond the memory of tears) published by a organisation called Kalapeya Api (We of the free trade zone) based in Negombo, Sri Lanka. This poem has been published in several publications in different countries. Translation by Basil Fernando