Colombo, Poetry

For Mr K with love

Mr K died today
Not unusual, all things perish
But he was very young
And had just got two tiny teeth
And was a little fighter
He tried hard to live
In difficult times.

Mr K died quietly today
And I don’t have a right to
Cry, besides
I am a tad too old
for that.

Death stalks me
heroic, wearing a shiny cloak of war
but death, nonetheless
In the jungles booming with mortar fire
In IDP camps
In accident wards full of
Young men hoping the pain would end
Death immortalized in
the news
the moving image
broadcasts and
telecasts and podcasts

So what right do I have
To mourn a tiny chipmunk
parted from its mother
Caught in the crossfire
During an ambush by birds
And the chipmunks’ retaliation
In their quest for food.

I fed him and kept him warm
Swaddled him and held him
Formed an attachment
So I thought he needed me.
But the truth is
These few, silent, tears are
Because it is I
who needed

24th March 2009

Writers Under Siege

Part of the Writers Under Siege collection on Groundviews. For more information, click here.