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Night steals upon us like death…
In the morning it leaves
one or two cups of coffee
untouched on the table!
An eerie silence swallows me
it howls into my ears.
My trembling legs search
up and down the lane
the sound of boots
answer me!

At a distance
I hear crowds, shouts,
Gunshots and wails.

You call it calm!

You call it peace!!

You call it calm because
You are deaf to rage!

You call it peace because
Because you are
Blind to blood!

My twelve year old
is scared of shadows.
He cannot sleep
without my arms around him.

Is is he crying?
Is he in pain?

Now I hear him scream!
It grows louder occupying the entire land…
spreading across frontiers…
His tears soak the soil,
turning the earth red.
Is this the mass of land you came for?
Take it!

My curse has fallen upon it,
pervading its heart and soul.
You call it peace!! One day-
it will eat into your soul!

As night creeps in again
I tell my six year old
‘ Go! Sleep in the cowshed,
Our house is a
Hangman’s noose!’

Jayashree Thotekat is a poet from Kerala


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