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A Poem Born from Guilt - Vinita Agrawal (India)




-         Vinita Agrawal (India)


I look for him in the open skies now.


His Aladdin oil-lamp body

brilliant pistachio feathers

cranberry neckline

black onyx-carnelian eyes


Long years ago Id got him home

from a parrot poacher

(how could I?)

expecting him to enjoy the cage

enjoy his enclosure in my home

enjoy his lavish pantry

enjoy his name Mitthoo

enjoy my cheerful Good Morning!”


He remained silent. Still.

Ate nothing. Said nothing.

Barely moved.

His gilded environs too sophisticated

for his rustic claws

the food too refined for his curious beak

And he rejected the human tendency to

give a name to everything, everyone.

(How could I?)


He survived for all of forty eight hours.

Then fell over, the Rigor Mortis, instant.

Eyes that closed naturally in sleep,

wide open like fossils of deep hurt

This sleep too cold

to afford the warmth of eyelids.


I sat staring at his open stare

horribly captured

in the capture I had endorsed.

My decision poaching the blue skies

like a vile heinous net.


I look for him now in all the birds soaring free.

he who belonged to the firmaments

who I envisaged

would be a household spectacle

whose wings

for which I could not provide a span.


He must be out there somewhere

reborn for another round

of a free roam of the atmosphere

of foraging in trees for fruit

watching out for the hunters

watching out for me.