Poetry / May 2010 (Issue 11)

Dera Ghazi Khan, 1925

by Nabina Das

They had coarse cotton on spindles
They had coarse hands on cows' udders
Utter summer sun melting before the lentils boiled up. 

They brought red dust of a dirt-tracked Multan
They could read only the forehead lines of their old
Older than border lines, not the footsteps both ways 

They told stories of sad rivers that never were
They revved up stolen bikes when easy money jingled
Jimmying up the narrow lanes where kids and dogs ran 

They have evening songs to old sleepy goddesses
They have dreams of where the dead speak aloud
They now laud bringing water and history in saved brass jars
From a Dera Ghazi Khan of lonely broken doors left ajar.

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