Burying the dead
being an art well developed in our times
(Our psychoanalysts having helped us much
to keep balanced minds—whatever
that may mean)
there is no reason really
for this matter to remain so vivid
as if some rare occurrence. I assure you
I am not sentimental, never having
had a ‘break down’, as they say.
I am as shy of my emotions
as you are. And I attend to my daily
tasks in a very matter-of-fact way.
Being prudent, too, when a government says:
"Forget!" I act accordingly.
My ability to forget
has never been doubted. I’ve never
had any adverse comments
On that score either. Yet I remember
the way they stopped that car,
the mob. There were four
in that car: a girl, a boy
(between four and five it seemed) and their
parents, I guessed, the man and the woman.
It was in the same way they stopped other cars.
I did not notice any marked
Difference. A few questions
in a gay mood, not to make a mistake
I suppose. Then they proceeded to
action. By then a routine. Pouring
petrol and all that stuff.
Then someone, noticing something odd
as it were, opened the two left side
doors; took away the two children,
crying and resisting as they were moved
away from their parents.
Children’s emotions have sometimes
to be ignored for their own good, he must have
thought. Someone practical
was quick, lighting a match
efficiently. An instant
fire followed, adding one more
to many around. Around
the fire they chattered
of some new adventure. A few
Scattered. What the two inside
felt or thought was no matter.
Peace-loving people were hurrying
towards homes as in a procession¼
Then, suddenly, the man inside,
breaking open the door, was
out, his shirt already on
fire and hair, too. Then, bending,
Took his two children. Not even
looking around, as if executing a calculated
decision, he resolutely
re-entered the car.
Once inside, he closed the door
himself—I heard the noise
Still the ruined car
is there, by the roadside
with other such things. Maybe
the Municipality will remove it
One of these days
to the capital’s
garbage pit. The cleanliness of the capital
receives Authority’s top priority.