A Ruin of Words


She stands amidst
a ruin
of frightened words.
For many nights after
she dreams of
the scattering.
A man screams
as he chases after
fragments of paper
white and black
wind and rain.
A train in motion
telescopes onto itself.
Some nights after
she finds herself
in grade two
trying to say
Round and round the rugged rock
the ragged rascal ran

She dreams next
of word-puzzles
that rise up as a box
and close around her throat.
Her father
has mislaid
his ears.
Only towards morning
does she glimpse
the fields
that lie open
to a greenness
than words.


Published in Arriving Shortly (collection of poems) Kolkata: Writers Workshop, 2011