Under the Grid of Sub Reality / Susmita Mukherjee


The old hag lay face down,
Her dried hair up in the air,
Like dry twigs after harvest.
Her scrawny left arm upturned
at an angle, as if not sure,
whether for alms or in benediction;
Her other hand, mottled, was tucked way under, gripping her squashed belly bag.

She lay there for eons,
under the grid of the sub reality radars that were new in the neighborhood,
their flickering light beams stinging her, serpent like, into convulsions.

Sometimes she moaned.
At times she farted, and,
noxious fumes
volcano like, filled the air.

Too tired to be angry,she lifted her aged bum to pee,
And out flowed waters
that swirled and twirled in dizzy vortexes and caused
unnecessary delay around the area.

Too tired to get up, she shook her head and colours,
like flashing lightning,
danced with the grid overhead and trapped her in place.

” I don’t like being watched, you wretches”
she said,
But the soundless sound,
rumbled into the countless clatter of car honks, and busyness,
as another coin dropped into her upturned hand.

” Can’t you spare an old hag who has done you no harm”?
Her moan took the shape of a saliva drop that fell under her breath.

No, no, she must not give up! Not yet!

The hag knew that as long as she wrapped herself around her belly bag,
her little ones would survive.

She remembers the hard years,
when the singeing blast
had ripped her right breast,
her milk buds had scattered and mushroomed in the sky,

She remembers how her pubic rain forest had been blazed down by a careless cigarette.

She remembers not so long ago,bullets, bayonettes, bombs and blasts,
whistling over her body,as she curled around her belly bag.

“Stop it”! she warned
“Stop it”! she wailed
“Stop it”! she whimpered a command.

But no one was listening
to the old hag,
Old Mother Earth,
as she lay face down,
Under the giant grid,
Walked over, used and thrown,
An old useless Mother.

Susmita Mukherjee
9- 4-2020