I Am a Banned Poet

I am a banned poet
I see everything
You fail to see.

I see the wizened old Adivasi woman
Is restricted from entering the forest
She wants to worship the big giant tree
The spiralling dark smoke of the mining machines
irritates her eyes
The homeless birds are on their last flight.

I am a banned poet
I see the tea garden workers returning home
With meagre groceries
their pruney fingers holding tightly the umbrella
Two hundred rupees per day is a big dream.

I see a wife on a video call
Her husband is in Kasaragod
She is asking him to use cream
He has cement-induced eczema.

I am a banned poet
I have my eyes open.

Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. Her poetry collection, The Musings of the Dark was published in 2020. The book has about a hundred poems written in protest against the humanitarian crisis from the abrogation of article 370, the Delhi riots, and the Shaheen Bagh movement to the unbearable sufferings of the migrant labourers due to the unplanned Covid-induced lockdown.

Featured image: Trust “Tru” Katsande / Unsplash