Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Observation

I watched
silently
As the men,
lanky and oiled,
lifted the corpse on their
dark shoulders,
And the women stood aside,
eyes awash with tears of losing a friend,
daughter, sister;
I sat in the same corner
Where my little brother once
threw a glass piece at me
and jagged my face
Into that permanent
red zigzag of a lightning
and I got scolded
for leaving the glass in his hands;
Where my mother once cornered
me, to scorn my incompetence at
the stove, where I burnt my palm
in boiling oil;
Where my father struck me with a belt to
Wash me of the sin of
Having eaten before my brother...

I watched
silently,
As the men walked
away from me,
Not caring to look behind and see
my heavy tears
dragging my cheeks down
and distorting my vision
Of the nightmares I once withstood
with a stoic face
perhaps inherited
from an old grandmother
Who lived short but served
the family with more sons
than her womb could have borne;
They walked ahead,
carrying the body in their bony arms,
and everyone looked,
cried,
sniffed,
said things they were taught to say
at someone's death.

I watched
silently,
As my shrouded body went farther away,
Taking with it the pain,
the sorrow,
the grief,
the memories
that kept my tiny heart alive. 
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