Poetry at Sangam



SWING by Menka Shivdasani

For decades, dismantled in the loft,
you waited, silent, to be discovered
by a generation that had
no room for you anymore.

What could you have told me
if you were whole,
about that almost-forgotten world,
split open when heads
rolled on the streets,
and little girls were poisoned
to spare what was said
to be their shame?

What could you have told me
of the days when you belonged,
stately in a gentle mansion,
swinging to a quiet breeze,
that found its way despite
the roaring desert sands?

Digging into a past
(to which I do not belong)
I found you in the abandoned loft,
still strong and solid,
though your jewelled surface
had faded through the years.

I tried to put you together, and though
the old carpenter did not know
the dying secrets of your glistening frame,
and how to bring
the polish back,
he knew he could trust
your rusted hooks and hinges;
he knew you could
hold me still, secure
as you had done
my ancestors in a different world.

I try to scratch out your secrets,
but you sit silent,
perplexed in a jostling, jumbled world.