Wednesday 25 October 2023

Poetry 2023 Longlist Swapna Sanchita

The Weariness Of A Small Town

The buildings at the roadsides
Don't seem to fit.
They jut out, or appear set
At slight angles to anything aligned.

This is the kind of town
Where the best places are new,
The old covered in faded gingham tablecloths
And kept aside.

The kind of place which grows
On its own, at a tangent
To planned circular plans
With offshoots that thrive just outside boundaries.

Where iron bars and wires
Form grids across the skyline.
Grey derelicts compete with the bright colours,
Of hoardings smiling down on decaying bridges.

I've heard it has an old-world charm,
A slow moving pace, with time,
Time to watch the grass grow between the bricks
That pave the cobbled paths, pebbles to kick.

Children play outside their tented homes
Put up on the pedestrian walkway
That lies beside the busiest, most important road
Only half of their bodies cloth covered.

I wonder where they go
When the orders come to stay at home,
Keep all the stores closed?
Those children that multiply without abodes.

Sluggish towns often simmer
Underneath the laboured, trudge of the daily grind.
And then resort to throwing stones
At people, at houses, at people in the houses,
at gods, at demons.

But things do not really change,
In these parts of the world,
We like things to always remain the same
Like these awkward buildings that stand

Overlooking these grey, listless lanes.
Potholed roads that don’t complain.

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