Poetry Longlist 2017, Anupriya Palni

Anupriya Palni
Across the ruins walks a lone child,
Over the collapsed walls,
Through the broken windows-
He wanders with a tear streaked face,
In search of his mother, just in case.

The walls are black,
The smell of burning flesh lingers in the air,
Tainted by the rusting, saline smell of blood-
The very blood of his brothers,
He tripped and fell over the body of his mother
He fell into a puddle of blood,
His hands and face, now smeared,
With the blood of his mother, brothers and father.
He crawled away from the stream-
Of blood, much like the one flowing in his bloodstream.

He found the body of one of the killers,
And took the knife clutched by the dead hands.
Stabbing the body again and again,
He snatched the locket round the killer’s neck-
Cursing that God, he threw it in the flaming barrack.

Now is born another extremist,
Who’ll grow up with a dagger in his hand,
And burning hatred in his heart.
With hands bloodied with the blood of others
The same hands once bloodied with the blood of his brothers.

And this cycle goes on,
As hatred freezes the bloodstream,
One after the other they explode-
Consumed by hatred and rivalry of old,
To lie in the ruins one day, eyes and body all cold.

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