Colombo, Jaffna, Poetry

Off the Field

In the end we have only ourselves to pick up from the grass,
the bed, the gymnasium floor. The dead will have their say
in dreams, and fond ones too, how the boy used to laugh

when chasing the ball on Duplication Road, or the girl back
in the village, shyly accept the glance of her neighbor’s son,
by the well, over a garden wall, the victims, the left behind

after the tsunami or the shelling without end, abroad,
processed, rebuilding their lives in the company of
Australians or Canadians, new people, while the distant war

on its nightly visit to parents, single or a pair, does not curse
the kid born away, who loves the latest fad on satellite radio
and the girl in his class who sports an infectious laugh.