This poem is longlisted for BN Poetry Award.
From where his frame earlier dangled, out grandma’s hut that stooped
like his twin hunchbacked. In silence, we carried him, his lips
parted in what resembled a smile, a continuous deathly & troubling smile.
In silence, we carried him while his sleepy white
eyes, now the colour of chilli and dripping with rheum, stared at me.
In silence, we carried him away from the villagers and their hollering and their
prying eyes that thrived on gossip,
past the purple hibiscus and weeping bougainvillea that once-
upon-a-time weathered in his heyday honour
We carried him past the thick coppices of shrubs and rows and rows of
dense undergrowth inundated with copulatory chirps from male crickets
who had successfully wooed a female and those who were in the process of wooing.
We carried him past the sluggish bayou filled with dead fish and dead leaves and live salamanders with their rudimentary legs dangling lifelessly behind them.
We carried him through winding waterways, littered with drying excreta
and maggots and the smell of decay that hung about us, unshakable like death.
In silence we carried him home, the whole six feet of him, home six feet under our feet.