Big Bodies

Ismail Bala


It is almost dark. In the river
the frog croak,
and the innocent grass have pushed forth
their many alluring trap,
and the water is tremulous.
It is difficult sometimes, dear Lord,
to be cheerful.
I am more mildly made
than the small fishes, giggling and swaddling.
But not so mild
as the water
with its greedy mouth.
I know you know nothing—
I defend on this.
Still, there are so many big bodies in the world,
for which I am scared.

After Mary Oliver

Ismail Bala is a Guest Contributor to Panorama.