Too late for amends

Too late for amends
              For T. Ganesan (1931-1985)
It is as though an unjust hand punished you
As if the Adlerian guiltless position in the constellation wasn't enough
    toppling you from a pedestal
You were groomed for position
                                    for heading a family
    vacated by the head himself
                                         out of time
So they protected you
                  pampered you
    the custom required it
         there were sisters whose dowries you were supposed to earn
   there were grounds whose circumferences you were designated to crush
there were centuries and goals you were bound to knock with stick and bat
   there were exams you were deemed to sail through
          there were jobs you were merely to inherit on merit
The second son was sacrificed
      He was too close a second
They turned a deaf eye to your sacrificial deeds
                                   the suffocating cries   
Work on what has been spoiled by the father and the mother
                                                                Hexagram 18
Other hands worked on the second son
Other sacrifices nearly came to pass                       
Fierce jungles
                swirling muddy rivers
                                     stalking cobras
                               poisonous thorns
                               aboriginal hunters
   even your suffocating arms to lock the broken neck
                                               fresh from a hanging
These worked
                     where the mother and father failed
        and instilled a wish for survival in your Abel
How could you be blamed for being the first born boy
                      if the second took longer to arrive
         or instead came as a baby girl
Neither parent may be faulted
How could either have known or foreseen
Your traversing of the desert
  often in shame
                      in fear of being found out
You kept your back straight
You honoured your position
You wore that air of masterfulness
                                                  in your stride
                in your respect for the meek for the fairer sex
    in your willingness to come to the aid of the needy
in your alas mind's reach
    bereft of the means to give it authority
In your own mind
                         you had wandered far
    as far and beyond the distances of your strides
                          within three posts   four walls  open ground and air
     you never bothered with approving thumps on the back
  nor the little-watched heroic actions on some turf
     nor did you recount these match-winning feats
                                                                 in a thirst for applause
You were the quintessential sportsman
You played your last game alone
                                               far away from your folk
      You had no wish for a farewell
Yet you are mourned in pain by all

© T.Wignesan 1993
April 14, 1993
[from the collection : back to background material, 1993]

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