Two Poems

By Pervin Saket

In The End What Separates Us

In the end what separates us,

Are not the words we hurl in cannonball pain

Or accusations posing as impassioned interrogations

But the foetal moments we keep shuttered

Too closeted, too crouched

Too tender to look the sun in the eye.


In the end what separates us,

Are not distinct childhoods of city and scenery

Rivers turning into chasms, and bridges morphing into borders

But cloistered ghettos of right and good

Too squelched, too certain

To dance in the flickering twilight of wonder.


In the end what separates us,

Are not careful plans of distribution and dissolution

Somber clauses in reasonable, measured jargon

But hope forbidden, unable to transcend

Today, tomorrow

To unite our separate stories and their sovereign griefs.


The one thing we’re united about

is how to tell the children.

Gathering them on an evening hung and heavy,

we measure out the practiced phrases,

and bore keenly into their expressions.

But they shrug off our grimness;

they have always known.

My children have already seen me

standing at the door,

all dry-eyed and combed

(the strain mustn’t show)

fidgeting with the car key

and planning how to squeeze my world

into the week allotted for me.

Pervin Saket is the author of the novel ‘Urmila’ and of a collection of poetry ‘A Tinge of Turmeric’. Her novel has been adapted for the stage, featuring classical Indian dance forms of Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi. Her work has been featured in ‘The Indian Quarterly’, ‘The Joao-Roque Literary Journal’, ‘Paris Lit Up’, ‘The Madras Courier’, ‘The Punch Magazine’, ‘Cold Noon’, ‘Earthen Lamp Journal’, ‘Breaking the Bow’, and others. She is co-founder of the annual Dum Pukht Writers’ Workshop held at Pondicherry, India.



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