Tuesday Poem

The Tortoise

Wrinkled skin. Age? Must be three or four hundred
Like dark circles beneath the eyes, the western
Hemisphere engraved on the shell, so extraordinary
But absolutely silent now after all those wars
Won’t listen, won’t speak, won’t look either
We only gather in a crowd every evening
Eating small portions of that old story
Vanished phrases, broken words, missing letters
Still we eat the story, sharing it amongst ourselves
Thousands of years ago, in some race or the other,
Once, yes, once, I had defeated the hare.

by Srijato
from Chhotoder Chiriyakhana
Ananda Publishers, Kolkata, 2013
translation: 2015, Arunava Sinha