Elegy for Tina by her brother immediately elder to her.

Someone put some mud in his extended left hand
He looked at it, uncomprehending
Put it in, down there, a voice said
He looked down at his feet
And as his eyes travelled, from left foot forward
There it was
A two foot by one foot hole, dug in the ground
Holding the small box of wood
In a shape he could not describe
Not having the word for it
Ten years old is too young to know much
(Elongated, hexagonal, it was, he knows now)
He could no longer see that face
Only the clean, almost white, yellow of the wood’s grain
Around him the voices which he could not make out, in refrain
of sad song or funereal chant of prayer
Around him the milling crowd of people, people, faceless, faces, known ,unknown, when all he wanted was to be left alone, everywhere
What had drawn so many there?
He opened his hand and let fall the earth
Watched it fall with no sound he could hear
And disperse into its tiny particles
Along with other clods of earth
‘Dust thou art and to dust thou dost return’
Then he understood
Something wet his cheeks burned
He wondered had she discerned
The sound of the sand
Hitting her roof
That it was different
And from his hand
Then jerked
Out of that mad reverie
She was gone
Under, forever
Even her tiny face
Tiny, how funny, so close to her name
You just change one letter and a whole world shrinks and a person is gone
Only the hope was left
Of meeting in eternity or heaven
Or some other life
Or the memory
Or both, or whichever
Was more true
So with Nothing left to do
He left
Before they covered her and the box up
With spades and shovels and picks
Gravely, as befits a new grave
He does not remember if he turned and looked
One last time –
How lame! –
The scene to frame
Not knowing it would never fade…

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About terrestrian@gmail.com

Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored or co-authored seven or eight books of poetry, theory and criticism. He is an editor and anthologist. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically Samuel Beckett's poems in English. He was a Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry in 2012 and his book Art of Poetry was selected as Best Reads 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee. He has been editor's pick on Camel Saloon thrice and poet of the month thrice in Destiny Poets UK besides often having his poems appear in the highly selected category. Has other international awards, diplomas and certificates to his credit too.

3 thoughts on “Elegy for Tina by her brother immediately elder to her.

  1. tapeshwar

    “He does not remember if he turned and looked. One last time.”
    Heart wrenching lines!
    More than deafeaning silence of a grave!


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