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Shobhana Kumar: Lessons in Mango Picking

It’s not just the announcement of summer.
If you look close enough
you can pick a thing or two
about patience
and then letting go.

You know life can turn against you—
how you can be plucked
from your roots, young,
weather it all and still remain
remarkably well-preserved.

You learn to tell the god-made
from the phonies
just by looking at them.

You discover endless possibilities—
hand-me down traditions,
a hundred ways of eating them,
and some you make your own.

You know that all of life’s joys
can be held in one hand.

You learn gratitude.

More importantly,
when you inhale a mango,
you will always find
home.

Shobhana Kumar
Shobhana Kumar is the author of two poetry collections, The Voices Never Stop and *Conditions Apply published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata. Her work has appeared in several journals including Muse India, Kitaab, The Missing Slate, Open Road Review, among others. She was one of the 25 featured poets from around the world at Poetry with Prakriti, Chennai, 2014. She is poetry editor at Sonic Boom, a journal for experimental poetry, Japanese short poetry and visual art.