Monday, 20 August 2012

Independence Day Poem

Village in a city

After four days and nights,
the train finally spills them
into the city, these villagers
with mud inside their nails
and blood. Tucked
into crannies, crowded

quarters, they tend to floors
as they did their farms,
sweeping dust that needs
no watering. In the kitchen,
they peel and cut fruit
and vegetables, long since
cut off from the stalk.
Where once open fields
joined them to the sky
and one another, concrete,
special plates, spoons and mugs
keep them apart. Yet,
once a year, they meet up
on Independence Day,
under trees, transplants,
like themselves in Lalbagh,
spread of green amidst gray smog,
coalescing from all over the city--
to chat, eat roasted butta,
stand tall as the trees,
bare feet caressing
the red earth.

Athena is a writer who recently published a book of poetry - Crossing Black WatersMany moons ago we studied together in 5th standard at the Cathedral and John Connon School  in Bombay.

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