Editor's Choice
Theme: Fate

Not Unusual

the man: he totters homeward reeking of

booze - the cheapest variety

he can’t afford any better


the night sky is ominous – just a sickle moon


his home:  a 10x10 sq.ft tin-walled room

in a shanty. Here most men are like him

frustrated – useless – drowning in the bottle


impervious to what goes on in their homes


somewhere a dog barks, a child bawls;

screams... cries... moans... brawls... 

the language reflects their surroundings  


there’s little for anyone to look up or forward to


his wife: huddled with their three children

hollow eyes concealing a bitterness

that sometimes rims the edges red


the chopping knife: to dice veggies with


the kitchen – or the corner which goes as one –

bare – the vessels empty like their stomachs

only a deep anger simmers in the eldest son


he shares a mutual hatred with his father


they have put up Dr. Ambedkar’s statue

at the crossroads – the man goes up to it

salutes – wobbles -  a grotesque grin cracks his lips


          he breaks into a song... somebody shushes him 


he reaches home... a scuffle... a ghastly screech

racket... confusion... wails...more shrieks... sirens

the ambulance takes away the son

the police haul away the man


          choppers can be put to so many uses


(This poem was first published in Narrow Road, Vol.6, Dec. 2018)


More By  :  Shernaz Wadia

Views: 1415     Comments: 2

Comments on this Poem

Welcome, My Dear

Aparna Chatterjee
23-Jan-2020 05:54 AM

Comment Thank you, Aparna for selecting this poem as editor's choice. It was an experimental one and the editor of Narrow Road liked it so he published it in the journal. Glad you also like it. Thanks once again.

23-Jan-2020 05:36 AM

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