For Afreen Fatima

I can see your ribs cracking
and the bones bleeding within.
Your eyes are numb,
tears frozen.

I can see your hands shaking,
your legs heavy.
Your heart is pounding,
breath rushing.

I can see you standing alone
watching a bulldozer ravaging
memories, warmth and prayers,
the favourite tea pot and
ammus’s prayer room.

I can see the tumbling of your abbu’s
flower pot and the heavy boot squashing
the flower petals.
The books you love most
are being turned into
clods of mud and grains of sand.

I can see you standing bewildered
which one to save and how,
every single thing is so close to the heart.

I can see you watching
the India you love being bulldozed.
The monsters are clapping and the noise
of the silence of your friends
throttling your voice.

I can see you standing with
still a tongue intact.

Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. Her poetry collection The Musings of the Dark is available on Amazon.

Featured image: A bulldozer works to demolish Afreen Fatima’s house in Prayagraj. Photo: PTI