"Betrayal" Poetry Contest Winners / March 2013 (Issue 20)

Questions Left Unanswered

by Shirani Rajapakse

 A head in the drain, he tried to
understand why. They took him in for
questioning, dragging him out of the house.
A rude awakening. Fifteen years of
sharing life
but can you really know
someone? He thought he did until they told
him about the head, bloodied and severed
from the impact lying in the drain
and the many lives lost on the street. She
stopped the rush hour traffic
with her swift movements. Nothing
remained except pieces of lives swimming
on the street and soaking into the earth
to disappear the next day. The numbers
could only be imagined. The hole
in the ground,
smoke on the air and the smell
of burning, burning. He sits in the front
room of the house they once
shared unable to go inside as the memories
have shattered into tiny fragments.
They lie scattered across the floor
like the flowers of the Sepalika tree in the early
morning dew. He wonders at it all
trying to understand while in the jungles far
away someone
else is groomed to take her place.

This is the First Prize Winner of Cha's "Betrayal" Poetry Contest. Read a description of the poem by Shirani Rajapakse here. [Read Andrew Barker's commentary on this poem here.] [Return to the "Betrayal" section.
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