Sunday 4 November 2018


They told me
Today you will bend your head
Today you will do what we tell you
You are a chattel, a thing
And we rule.

Today I bent my head
Waiting for tomorrow.

They told me
Today you will pick up a gun
Today you will kill for us
Today you will die for us
For the enemy is at the door.

I did not pick up the gun.
The quarrels of kings
Are nothing to do with me.

The enemy came, they told me to say
How much I loved them, and invite them to stay.
The enemy came, I bowed my head
And told them what they wanted said,

For, I thought, tomorrow you will be gone.

My daughter, six years old today
Went to school, stopped to play
A finger pressed a button
Half a world away,

A silver speck in the sky above
Laid a silver egg
Trailing flame.

And there was no daughter
I have no daughter

Today, I will pick up a gun
Your time has come.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2018