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from the April 2020 issue

Notes from Kolkata

Sonnet Mondal meditates on the lockdown in India and its possible aftermath in three short poems.

 

Lockdown

Where roads do not unfurl
the need for limits
breathes through dry tears.

Where Solitude takes wing 
for the falling Sun
amnesia shrouds a generation.

Caged, wingless, a bird waits
for the last dusk

as a forsaken boatman
rows for food in the twilight.

 

 

The Answer

A dry land seeking liberty
to wet itself wonders
about the quiet after this storm.

The roads are familiar to it.
The smell of the air isn't.

The trees no longer liaise.
Their commitments are done.

Does the new rephrasing require us?

An empty bowl falls on the floor—

The sound seems familiar.
It was there in the quiet
before the storm.

 

 

Locked

Sometimes
the iron in a lock
must be thinking
why was I molded
into something as such!

A life that came
with boldness
got swept into
isolation—by the tongue
of a melancholic rust

hanging like a slave
to the will of the key
and fingers.

 

লকডাউন' ("Lockdown"), উত্তর'("Uttor"), and 'বন্ধ' ("Bondho") © 2020 by Sonnet Mondal. Translations © 2020 by Sonnet Mondal. By arrangement with the author. All rights reserved.

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