“I am your Republic.”

“Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I did not die.”

I am the leftover tea in the kettle,
in the kitchen of the house,
that you set on fire,
because I prayed in green.
I am the broken ribs of the boy,
who lay dead with a cap on his head,
in the compartment of the train-
that was painted rusty orange
with the paan spit out of your mouth-
my mother carried me,
drenched in mahogany red blood,
a day before the festival of green.
I am the ashes of the lover,
you burnt alive in the bushes,
as my wife in burqa kept waiting for me,
to return from the aarti in my God’s mandir.
I am the remains of the tomb,
that you broke down to lay down your arcs.
I am the hands that cover
my naked cage of flesh
after your hands and mouth,
quenched their share of lust.

I am the war without weapons,
the graveyard of the living on Earth.
I am the plea for justice,
echoing through generations.
I am the remnants of a partition,
that drew lines of separation,
through humanity,
in the shades of religion.
I am the wind that stinks of rotten human flesh,
I am the death in the coal mines,
as your hands filled with diamonds.
I am the sunlight that fails to shine through
the smoke of the tear gas.
I am the chinar leaves in autumn,
that pellets and bullets breathe their lasts on.
I am the morning that you dread to see,
I am the flight that you call life,
I am the stars in your blinded eyes,
I am your Republic.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye.


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