Irony of Ironies

They came from the four corners of the country
from remote places, walled off, cut off
and secluded from civilization,
practically removed from the map,
people of many clans, customs, and cultures
all forgotten, left to die
of starvation, alcohol, and drug addiction,
many confined to insane asylum,
and counted among the dying or the dead,
but suddenly now come back to life,
as it were, their body and limbs
awoken from long slumber,
these people traveled long distances
simply to watch, not to take part,
not to take any of the many sides,
not to shout to whom the country belongs,—
irony of ironies, if it belonged to anyone
how could anyone forget it belonged to them?—
who should stay or pack up and go away
where they came from not knowing
for many there was no other place to go to,—
not to cheer one side against the other,
beyond the view of thousand cameras
and ears and eyes of news channels,
just to watch silently—
the best eclipse ever?—
and keep the dying ember,
burning in their hearts and minds,
they came to witness the tragic spectacle in Charlottesville
and find catharsis in the language of Aristotle,
if for no other purpose.

 

 

Saligrama K. Aithal

After retirement from a long scholarly career in academia, Saligrama K. Aithal occasionally tries his hand in verse. He has published five collections of short stories—Many in One, One in Many, Inside India, Overlapping Worlds, Passage to More than India, and a literary biography Riyana, the Child Once Everyone Was. The volumes include several short stories which have appeared in national and international journals, including Unlikely 2.0. He has not completely abandoned his scholarly pursuit; he has recently published a book of critical appreciation on the novels of a famous writer of our time, of all times—Toni Morrison, Novelist.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 23:15