Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Ashok Gupta


He would come daily
to sweep, wash clothes and dishes
in a shirt torn at the back

I gave him a shirt
that I didnít wear any more
and another
and another
but he would still come daily
in the shirt torn at the back

Why? I would ask
Each time he answered
I sent it home
to my brother in Dungarpur

and would still come daily
in the shirt torn at the back

Family Album

Arms outstretched to prevent
burning flesh touching flesh
Kim, eight, runs naked
down the village road
other children follow screaming
with pain distorted faces
Pagoda Vietnam

Tan plays a game
with a tank
a step to the left a skip to the right
till it is a game no more
Tiananmen Square

Khalid my boy pelts
a tank with little stones
dodging the barrel
running into by-lanes
His luck runs out
Nabulus Palestine

She searches my face
with tearful eyes
before they turn to stone
Why me?
What did I do?
That is Farida my daughter
Irbil Iraq

And this is me
and my home-loving wife
we still live on.

©2003 by Ashok Gupta

Ashok Gupta lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. Poems have been published online in Epiphany, Liberty Grove Review, Poetry Billboard, FZQuarterly, Ken*again, Wilmingtonblues, WickedAlice, Slow Trains, and in print in Reflections and Times of India . Poems are also forthcoming in Poetry Repair Shop, Paumanok Review, and Muse Apprentice Guild.

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