Undies

I watched her carefully hanging up the clothes.

She would wring them dry, flick them once or twice

to shake off any loose moisture,

and then stretch them on the line,

clipping them, so that they wouldn't be blown off.

Her husband's underpants she hung nonchalantly,

the clip squarely grabbing the crotch;

their bright green colour made them conspicuous

and large letters in the elastic waistband

announced their brand name:  "TANGO."

But with her own lingerie,

she showed greater circumspection,

tucking away the "b"s and "p"s

behind napkins and towels.

Thus, inadvertently, I learned

that the modesty of the Indian woman must extend

even to her washed lingerie.

 


Back to Selected Poems from The Used Book

 
  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape