My Age?

a poem by Devika

Every time they ask my age,
I wonder-
How old am I?
Do I count the wrinkles on my soul,
Or the accumulated dust on the years,
Or a head count of the scars will do?
But then what about that child inside,
All of five years old,
With questions, mischief, wonder still?
With spontaneity thinly garbed
In social niceties?
Who speaks of love
In the language of truth?
And what about that little girl
Who lived with fantasies untold?
Who still watches the raindrops
Drop by drop, gilding the leaves,
The sky and her heart?
And the woman who folded up
Her dreams in nice, neat packets,
To be thrown away;
Afraid she might stumble over them
In the flurry of responsibilities?
And what about the quiet one,
Whose mind is like a gentle pool
Unruffled in prayer and stillness?
There are a hundred more within
Whose age I do not know-
Which age shall I tell you?
Let’s make do with fifty.
It’s so conveniently positioned!