Shudhangshu

From amidst the plundered temple
And the burnt ashes of the homestead
A disinterested voice reaches Sudhangshu -
'Will you go then, in the end?'
At the day's end
Sudhangshu searches frantically
Among the ashes
For ownership deeds, broken glass bangles
The inert box of a married woman's vermilion -
The scattered beads of troubled memories.


The voice says, 'The looters have robbed you
But haven't left, they are lurking around
They are wrapped around your daily life.
The animal-visaged executioner
Bides his time
Under the vampire-wings of terror.
Even then, do not go Sudhangshu.'
The sky's blue is not yet fled.
The trees, with their gentle ways
Still fly their flag of deepest green.
The brimming river
Still shakes her waist
Like a wanton gypsy girl.
Sudhangshu too will not go
Leaving this sacred land
Like a warrior defeated in battle
For destinations unknown.

by Shamsur Rahman

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