Poetry at Sangam



THE PETS OF OTHERS by Vahni Capildeo

Turtle thrashes opposite the dishwasher,
climbs the water breakline, while the rocks
wait artificially; what sand is needed
being supposable only from flippers
in action, while the chin lifts; she meets the eyes
of tall and dry onlookers. Her red streaks seem
so powerful, a punishable woman’s!
Yet compassion flows pointlessly towards her,
like a sable marram dune shifting to make valleys
in which some find rest, from which the sea cannot be glimpsed,
or a way out predicted. Her eggs will come
unfertilized, after how much compulsive
thrashing; and she will be saved from eating them
by her warm-handed keepers, who’d love her wild.