A Midwinter Night’s Nightmare

By Sandeep Koul

nightmare-tree-siobhan-brennan-raymond

It was late,

and…

I was just getting cosy,

drowsy

under the warm blanket

when all of a sudden,

 

I heard a loudspeaker

shout

in the neighbouring

mosque’s minaret.

 

The sounds pierced

much more

than the dark cover of night,

They caused

what was meant,

an unimaginable fright.

 

Lurid slogans

to drive away,

but mere words

have no power,

But so many killings, rapes,

what stopped them

from stooping lower?

 

Hit lists all around,

threats in local papers,

A comatose administration,

oblivious policy makers.

 

So away we went,

leaving home and hearth,

And the pristine land

where we had taken birth.

 

We had to flee in a taxi,

our luggage

was a change of clothes,

There was no space

for possessions

accumulated over

a lifetime of chores.

 

Even

the taxi faced

a mob,

our driver deserted,

Dad singled out acquaintances,

pleaded,

protested.

 

Somehow

we got out alive,

but all for what?

A ceaseless

summer,

a life of sweat.

 

The long queues

in the hot sun

for a fistful

of change

 

Identities lost

 

old folks

who can be said

to dement

and derange.

 

Still fools hunger

for a chance

to be back,

Even if

that risks

a fatal attack.

 

sandeep(A Mechanical Engineer by profession and poet by passion, Sandeep Koul is a Kashmiri Pandit currently living in Noida.)

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