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  Her hand  

  Body politic
  Vol III : issue 4

  Saadat H. Manto
  Amrita Pritam
  Jayanta Mahapatra
  Geeti Sen
Anita Agnihotri
  Dhiruben Patel
  S. Akbar Zaidi
  Only in Print

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Jayanta Mahapatra

The little girl’s hand is made of darkness

How will I hold it?

The streetlamps hang like decapitated heads

Blood opens that terrible door between us

The wide mouth of the country is clamped in pain

while its body writhes on its bed of nails

This little girl has just her raped body

for me to reach her

The weight of my guilt is unable

to overcome my resistance to hug her

Oil on canvas by ARPANA CAUR



Physicist and poet, Jayanta Mahapatra's honours include the Jacob Glatstein Prise for Poetry. He writes in English and Oriya and edits a literary journal, 'Chandrabhaga'. This poem was
witten in response to the recent killing of Muslims in Gujarat