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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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Salil Chaturvedi

Sundari

In my dream, I whizz over the surface of a lake. In the distance, a white bird, its neck outstretched towards the sky, makes a strange croaking sound. Clearly, it’s in trouble. I fly above the water and scoop the water around the bird’s neck with both my hands, hoping for the best. As soon as I touch the water, two white birds rise up to the surface of the lake water. One bird curls its long neck on which the troubled bird rests its neck. The other bird uses its wings to push along the two.

moving slowly
among the sleeping ducks
upturned moon

Just two days later I witness a truck slam into our dog, Sundari. I rush inside the house and yell for my wife. We pick up Sundari, put her in the rear seat of the car, and rush with her to the vet. My wife sits at the back with Sundari all through the drive. As we cross the river on the ferry I turn to look back at Sundari. Her neck is on my wife’s curled leg. Later in the evening a few friends join us as we dig her grave in our backyard.

sinking
into the earth –
robin's song


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