The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Saturday

Independence
By Reetika Vazirani


Mussoorie, Uttar Pradesh, India, 1947

When I am nine, the British quit
India. Headmaster says, "The Great
Mutiny started it." We repeat,
The Great Mutiny of 1857
in our booming voices. Even
Akbar was Great, even Catherine,
Great! We titter over History. His back
turns: we see his pink spotty neck.


Sorry, the British leaving? we beg.
"This is hardly a joke or a quiz --
sit up and stay alert," he spits.
"It is about the trains and ships
you love and city names. As for me,
I'm old, I'll end in a library,
I began in trade." But you must stay,
we tell him. He lived here as we have lived


but longer. He says he was alive
in Calcutta in 1890. He didn't have
a rich father. A third son, he came with
the Tea Company: we saw a statement
in his office. The company built
the railroads to take the tea "home
to England" so that Darjeeling and Assam
could be sipped by everyone, us and them.


They sold our southern neighbor Ceylon,
silk, pepper, diamonds, cotton.
We make a trade of course. In England
there is only wool and salt and
snobs and foggy weather, Shakespeare.

--------

Have seen fireworks from a bridge in L.A.! We are going out to breakfast in the Valley, then are off to visit relatives in Santa Clarita for the rest of the day. Have a lovely Saturday everyone!


Trees in the Bonito Lava Flow, Sunset
Tags: trip west 03
Subscribe

  • Poem for Friday and Cabin John Spring

    A Lady red -- amid the Hill By Emily Dickinson A Lady red -- amid the Hill Her annual secret keeps! A Lady white, within the Field In placid…

  • Poem for Thursday and Carderock Deer

    Killdeer By Nick Flynn You know how it pretends to have a broken wing to lure predators away from its nest, how it staggers just out of reach .…

  • Poem for Wednesday and Canal Turtles

    The Turtle Shrine Near Chittagong By Naomi Shihab Nye Humps of shell emerge from dark water. Believers toss hunks of bread, hoping the fat…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments