Thursday, 5 June 2014
The girls hang from the tree;
dead to the world, while a living
crowd gathers around to stand vigil.
The men, who fathered them,
with photos locked in the palm
of their hands; the women who bore them,
with grief locked in their hearts.
They were fairy children, who went
out at twilight to seek the moon;
the wolves, who watched them
each night, lay in wait, smacking
their lips, hunger swelling inside
their cobbled bones and rotten insides
that stank of many a fairy flesh;
for wolves will be wolves.
That dark evening, the wolves dragged
them to their lair. They mauled them
black and blue, until their fairy skins
twitched and burned and their foreheads
furrowed with pain. They smothered
their screams, until earth quaked
and thunder cried. They tore them apart,
ravished their insides and pulled out
their hearts. They fed off their blood
and wrenched them like dishcloths
and dried them out like fish hanging
in the sun. When they had emptied
them inside out, they hung their empty
shells from the hangman’s tree.
Do not weep for their fairy shells,
weep for the pain of their living flesh,
weep for the agony of their dying spirits;
weep for the fairy hearts that once
beat under their tunics, red and green.
Light candles for fairy ghosts,
scream at the wolves at bay.
For in my India, they flay fairies
and hang them from mango trees.
Anger among Indians after killing of two girls
© Usha Kishore, June 2014.
Usha says: The poem is an outpouring of grief for two innocent lives. The poem stemmed from a terribly graphic image of the event that is circulating on FB