A Woman Who Was Pounding Salt

Goenawan Muhamad
In the corner of her eternal kicthen
a woman was pounding salt in her mortar.
“I will create hope,” she said, “on the black stone.”
Smoke was never brief. Its ceiling was the color of the world
in Jeremiah’s dreams.


She herself mused on fish in an aquarium, swimming,
like lazy balloons unaware of their own painted sign
in the sky. “They are the ones who dreaming,”
the said to herself.

Even if she had her own dreams. She dreamt of mounds of flour,
drizzling, like grumbling. On as grassland. Half a dozen
people running, escaping, from the sun. “They are all my
children,” she said. “All are my children.”

But the did not know where they went, because thay had not returned since. The youngest, from some Russian town, never
wrote. The eldest had simply vanished. The other four has sent
only one letter with a single sentence,
“We are but traitors, Ma.”

Perhaps there was still a young woman left, on a distant prayer rug, (or maybe that was just a dream returning,)
who did not know her. She often communicated with the silent
language of a factory smoke. She dared not know who she was.
She dared not know.

In the corner of her eternal kitchen
a woman was pounding salt in her mortar.

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Penulis: Editorial Staff

Ordinary Blogger

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