Today's poem is by Raena Shirali
The State Para-Military Force Speaks
We stood by quietly as the mosque fell. Or was pulled.
The celebration turned riot & all the idols
lay decapitated at Nirmal Nagar. The elephant
god without an elephant head. Even without
the cold, we shivered. The buses around
us enshrined in flames. Who could tell
which temple was falling, and when? Of course
we were in Jogeshwari when we found them.
The sickles. Iron rods flaking dark red chips
into the dirt. The Constable face down
we intervened. Seventy-two times we killed
& were killed. Standing over us, the attackers
mocked. Where's your army now, they said,
& we did not have an answer.
Copyright © 2017 Raena Shirali All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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