COMPOUND LIFE

BY EUNICE DE SOUZA

1
The first-floor procuress
takes the air.
Her bosom precedes her.
Ditto the pigeon
that follows her.

2
She has a quacking voice.
He has duck-tailed hair.

3
Mrs P’s daughter never smiles
never talks
walks with her head down
looking for potholes and pitfalls.

4
Mrs V beats her husband.
The churchman says:
Into every life
a little rain must fall.

5
What can trees do in such a place
except light their own fires.

6
The night watchman
sleeps through the night.
Opening his tiffin he says
This is a good job.
The best I ever had.

7
A compound full of silver cars.
The sky with not a single silver star.
21

8
A bird hovers.
A word hovers.
A word is a bird
is a bird is a bird

9
Hot, still, dawn air.
A rat, condemned to gnaw,
the only sound.

10
The downstairs neighbours sing:
Yes
Yes Yes Lord
Yes

 

 

Originally appeared here :  Nether, Issue 6, May 14

Nominated by : The Poetry Mail

Comment: Eunice De Souza is one of the veteran Indian women poets. Her poetry straddled decades of amazing reception of love by fellow poets, young and the old. As seen in this poem, her eye for detail and often witty and nonchalant commentary on social issues never reads like an agenda, her craft is honest, pithy and dubiously innocent. The Poetry Mail is proud to share this poem with you. Credit to Nether for originally publishing the poem.

 


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