My hands can still plough the fields. He was a teacher, my younger boy He taught me to write my name Suddenly for days he lay on the bed Malaria in the brain, they said We waited for a miracle To take him to the hospital No bicycle, no bullock cart The primary health clinic was 10 kms afar It was getting eerily dark. Soups of lentil and basil and yeast And prayer by our native priest But you know, he died: my little prince. Was this a punishment for my sins? My taller boy missed his little brother But soon Aati matured into a robust farmer Soon the rice field was his bed of dreams Soon he dreamt of a season of rice in heaps He laboured, we stocked And thus ticked the sand clock. Boom! Bam! Boom! The steel factories howled "Steel factories over our land!" our Ho Munda kin bawled "What about our crops?" "All gone!" "What about our livelihood?" "All gone!" "What about our ancestors' spirits?" "All gone!" Boom! We heard it again, but Aati ran to see, for its sound was different Gamcha on his shoulder, the gait of a deer It was the boom of the guns that we could hear Minutes, hours slipped through the barrel of the gun Women, children, men wailed for those long gone "Where is Aati, my young man?" "They put his body into a van!" First, there were no hospitals, no development Then they said steel meant development But I lost both my sons. I am old, I am angry. I cry. No answer to my unending 'why'. My hands can still plough the fields.