Saturday, 10 August 2013

Poetry 2013, Featured Writer Swechcha Ponnekanti


God's Little Rejects

Like dervishes they whirled Standing, sitting, lying on the floor Rolling in their ugly, messy pain Scattering it everywhere mindlessly
Then the pearly gates opened
Quietly, without fanfare
The time for inventories
and final reconciliations was near
In stark contrast to the ugliness outside, she stood.
Imperial. Ethereal. Ghost-like.
Her eyes held no promise
No germ of hope
They clamored for her attention
Voices rising to a fevered pitch
"Long have I waited, wanted, wasted.
The time has come.
Give to me the fruit of my labour.
My flesh and blood.
The culmination of all the excesses I have borne."
With a subtle inclination of her head
she bade the proceedings begin
Soon they were rolled out one by one
and the roll call began
Baby of X:
Beautifully formed
Rose-bud lips. Candy floss hair
Dimpled arms. Pink pudgy perfect feet
Comatose. Near dead
No less dead than the truly dead
Baby of Y:
Blue like the sky
Like gloom
Like starved blood
Cheek nestled on a pillow
fashioned of gauze, blood, and a tortured little hand
Smiling in sleep, jaw working
Angel-like
Irretrievably broken. Perhaps.
Baby of Z:
Homely, unprepossessing
Convulsing intermittently
Dribbling and swallowing green froth
Misfiring nerves
directing new born limbs
in an unseemly, uncoordinated dance
And so it went. Babies, babies, many more babies.
Tortured babies, fractured babies, violated babies, hopeless babies, unwanted babies
Babies crushed under a burden too large
Unbearably large
So many babies
Dawn crumbled to dusk; tears dried to salt
The assignments and deliveries
came to their logical end
It was over for the day
The keening wails had ceased
The clamour had subsided
They took stock. Calmly. Numbly.
They turned to her as one and said
"Tell us what to do."
She seemed baffled.
"Don't you understand?
The stories have already been written
There's nothing here.
Go home."
Her eyes brooked no questions
They wailed anew
Beating their chests like broken drums
She smiled her beatific deaf smile
and closed the door.
Firmly. Unequivocally.

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