I am Sambhu R., a bilingual poet from Kerala, India. I am employed as Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature at N.S.S. College, Pandalam. I am also a PhD scholar in English Literature. I have published an anthology of poems titled Vavval Manushyanum Komaliyum (Batman & Joker) in Malayalam.
"Thumb" comes from "tumere" which in Latin
means "to swell." Swollen with what—arrogance, an erection?
The name carries a mark of brute distinction
like an old emperor grown fat over lots of food and leisure.
In Malayalam, "thumb" is called the "mother finger."
She is naturally a bit plump
since she has given birth to four children.
Perhaps she is carrying another
in the protuberant belly of the knuckle—who knows?
She makes no complaint even when the children
grow obstinate and move away from her.
She does not rub salt in the wound
when they realize their follies and return, head bent.
She only hugs them tightly inside a loving fist
like any mother who forgives and forgives.