Composition

At that brief time
When you wait
For the audacious cane
To strike your skin,
And the rest of you is flinching
And cringing, with part shame,
And part pain,
Poetry dictates itself
In your mind. Short lines
Rip through, like bullets
From a machine gun.

The poem comes with the
Freshness of a life set free,
Whistling its way,
Painfully, like wind searing
Through the palm fronds.

Then,

The cane thrashes
Your skin, dancing cruelly
And bouncing in wooden joy.
Before you scream,
Or shake, the poetry stops.
And the Muse, is tentatively,
Laid to rest, much before the
Composition is
Complete.

(First published in Sulekha)

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2 responses to “Composition

  1. Peggy Trawick

    It is scary to think of children being caned. Please don’t credit the cane with giving you the gift of poetry. You survived in spite of it. The accidents of life are cruel enough.

  2. A marvellous piece! The truth of the matter is so distinctly presented and the pain is tangible.

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